Sunscreen in School?

  1. I just head on KLOVE that some states are allowing sunscreen to be used in school without a doctors note. I work in a school that allows NOTHING without a note. We have no standing orders.

    I am one of those odd people who developed an allergy to SPF late in life. Yet it only affects my face. Even kissing my kids who have been lathered causes itching, swelling of the lips. Fun times.

    Any thoughts on this? What if you have a weirdo like me? Yes, the parent should know if they child has had a reaction before, but Susie shared her sunscreen with Sally, and now Sally's Momma is mad!!
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   NurseBeans
    Is sunscreen considered a medication? I thought it was more of a cosmetic. They aren't regulated by the FDA at least.

    Having said that, I would hesitate to put anything on any student without a parent having given me permission. Even with our standing orders for hydrocortisone I get weird. All it takes is one angry parent to ruin things...

    Plus, who has a budget for sunscreen?
  4. by   OldDude
    We don't apply sunscreen but if the parent wants to come up and do that it's OK. Also if a parent sends sunscreen to school I'll allow their child to put it on themselves.
  5. by   KoalalaRN
    I had an ESE teacher asking last week about being able to send a note home asking parents to send in sunblock to be put on. My concerns were many:
    1-you are taking the responsibility to fully cover all of your students, and if one somehow gets a bit of sunburn, then you may be ridiculed for not doing the job well
    2-if the sunblock gets in their eyes...ouch....
    3-if someone accidentally comes in contact with another student's sunblock and has an allergic reaction/sensitivity
    4-even if the student's were able to take the "responsibility" on themselves; then I'd be concerned about sharing or sloppy use and ending up with chemicals in eyes or mouths

    My suggestion was to simply limit the length of time that the students are in the unshaded sunlight. Break up the playtimes to limit the chance of sunburn. Or have the parents apply sunblock before school and take them out for recess pretty early in the morning instead of in the blaring afternoon sun when the sunblock would have worn off.
  6. by   AdobeRN
    Sunscreen is allowed - in Texas there is actually a blurb in the education laws about it being allowed in schools without a doctors note. Our policy is that kids can have it and apply themselves but they are not allowed to share with others and teachers are not allowed to apply it to students. We strongly encourage parents to apply it to their kids before school, field day, field trips etc. I do have 1 kinder kiddo that I help apply it daily to her face (she uses it daily due to medication issues) just because if she did it herself the sunscreen would be everywhere.
  7. by   SassyTachyRN
    No sunscreen here. We don't even allow lotion. I'll be honest, I stash away some hypoallergenic good stuff in my desk... Eucerin. I'll give it to kids if I really think they need it. I do that maybe 3-4 times a year.
  8. by   OldDude
    Quote from SassyTachyRN
    No sunscreen here. We don't even allow lotion. I'll be honest, I stash away some hypoallergenic good stuff in my desk... Eucerin. I'll give it to kids if I really think they need it. I do that maybe 3-4 times a year.
    Rebel...
  9. by   iggywench
    Our district has a policy that students are allowed to bring sunscreen from home, and the teacher may store it for the student in the classroom. I cannot store it in the clinic, or apply it to a student. I've never heard of a parent sending any sunscreen, though. We always encourage parents to apply it to their children at home before field trips and field day.
  10. by   ruby_jane
    Quote from NurseBeans
    Plus, who has a budget for sunscreen?
    ^THAT!^
  11. by   WineRN
    Quote from SullyRN
    I am one of those odd people who developed an allergy to SPF late in life. Yet it only affects my face. Even kissing my kids who have been lathered causes itching, swelling of the lips. Fun times.
    I feel kinda silly admitting this, but I didn't know you could have a sensitivity to SPF!

    We allow lotions here, I have a bottle in my self care station for the kids and I have a few of my SSD/OCD kids who have eucerin here because of super dry skin on their hands. We dont have a policy regarding sunscreen though.
  12. by   SullyRN
    I would definitely allow a parent to apply. And even a child with parent's permission, my concern is not having the doctors note. And students who would wipe some on another kiddo. Some parents are like "really, you can't give my kid a cough drop?!" Nope, and you have no one to blame other than the crazy, sue-happy parents. They are why we can't do that. I had a dad bring in Clinda with just a note from him. I told him I would need the med. auth. for filled out and he said "When did this crazy bureaucracy start?!" My response was "Since they started having nurses in schools, we have a license to protect."

    Wine- I didn't either, until my lips started itching and swelling with every chapstick that had SPF. Then I would love on the kiddos and the same would happen, but it's only my face and my lips/around my lips are the worst.
  13. by   NanaPoo
    I have a list of 6 items that parents can say yes or no to for me to administer. One of those items is broadly listed as "topical ointment/lotion." I do not advertise that I have sunscreen but I do carry it in my field day first aid kit. I can't say that I've ever used it in my 3+ years here.

    The topical ointments I use the most are hydrocortisone followed by vaseline. Other ointments/gels/creams I have available are cold sore treatment, neosporin, Anbesol, Tinactin, Aquaphor, and Lubriderm lotion. Many parents of my African American students say no to the topicals. I don't know if certain topicals are skin bleaching or why they say no to these. My daughter is a very dark-skinned Chinese-American and I haven't had problems with topicals with her.

    Anyway, I totally get why parents say no on med lists. Before I became the school nurse I said no to all meds at school. I didn't know the school nurse and if she was going to flub up med calculations or if she was reliable at all. Now that I'm here I sometimes get frustrated when parents say no to meds and a simple Tylenol or Advil would be all it takes to get their student through the remainder of the school day. But, still, I get it. I've been in their shoes. With time, many have become more trusting in me and my judgement as they've realized I will communicate with them on everything.

    How did I get off on this tangent?? Yes, I have sunscreen! No, I don't use it!
  14. by   NurseBeans
    Quote from NanaPoo
    Anyway, I totally get why parents say no on med lists. Before I became the school nurse I said no to all meds at school. I didn't know the school nurse and if she was going to flub up med calculations or if she was reliable at all. Now that I'm here I sometimes get frustrated when parents say no to meds and a simple Tylenol or Advil would be all it takes to get their student through the remainder of the school day. But, still, I get it. I've been in their shoes. With time, many have become more trusting in me and my judgement as they've realized I will communicate with them on everything.
    It's funny you should mention this. When my daughter went to another school, and before I was a school nurse, the school allowed teachers to give band aids, hydrocortisone, and cough drops in the classroom. I said yes to band aids but no to hydrocortisone and cough drops. My daughter is prone to strep and I could just imagine her eating cough drops all day and the teacher not thinking twice about the sore throat. Also hydrocortisone? That really belongs in the nurse's office. My children no longer go to that school but I do know the school nurse, and can't imagine why she allows this.

    I guess if you consider that my own kids have issues with sunscreens and I have to carefully pick and choose which brands I use, it makes sense to hold off on applying to students. Any one of them could have a reaction.

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