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Sunburned Because Their School Didn’t Allow Sunscreen

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It’s idiotic. It’s ridiculous. It’s a state regulation that’s in effect in 49 of the 50 states that caused a school district in Washington State to prohibit two young girls from using sunscreen on an annual field day event. As a result they were severely sunburned.

Why couldn’t the girls use sunscreen? It’s because technically sunscreen is considered an over-the-counter drug and schools require a doctor’s prescription or note in addition to the permission of their parents. The concern is that the sunscreen could cause an allergic reaction or other medical problem.

Be reasonable – the chances of somebody getting a sunburn are far, far greater than having some kind of reaction to sunscreen.

New York State Department of Education regulations clearly state, “A written order from a duly licensed prescriber and written parental permission to administer the medication are required.”  This clearly lacks common sense.

Maybe it’s the fault of the school district. They know it’s an outdoor event, in the sun. Perhaps somebody could have thought ahead to consider that some kids absolutely should be wearing sunscreen?

The only state that doesn’t have that regulation on the books is California.

There’s a move by Erie County Legislators Edward Rath and Lynne Dixon to change the regulation. Instead of including a doctor’s prescription it would make it sufficient to get a parent’s permission. It would be similar to the way summer camps handle it.

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