School bans sunscreen, considers it ‘toxic substance’
SAN ANTONIO, Texas — It’s not even officially summer yet, but everyone is feeling the effects of the hot summer sun.
Sunscreen is one of the best protectors from the sun, but North East Independent School District parent Christy Riggs said her child wasn’t allowed to bring sunscreen to campus and suffered the burning consequences.
Riggs said her 10-year-old daughter went on a school field trip recently and came back sun-burned. Riggs said district policy didn’t allow her daughter to bring sunscreen to reapply.
“When you have a school field trip or a field day (in) which they’re out there for an extended period of time, they should be allowed to carry sunscreen and reapply,” said Riggs.
Riggs said skin cancer runs in her family and her father recently passed away from it.
But, NEISD spokeswoman Aubrey Chancellor said sunscreen is considered a medication, something children need a doctor’s note to have at school.
“Typically, sunscreen is a toxic substance, and we can’t allow toxic things in to be in our schools,” Chancellor said.
Chancellor said if parents know their child may be outdoors, they should come to school fully covered in sunscreen. At this time, she said, sunscreen can’t be brought by students to school campuses.
“We have to look at the safety of all of our students and we can’t allow children to share sunscreen,” she said. “They could possibly have an allergic reaction (or) they could ingest it. It’s really a dangerous situation.”
That didn’t sit well with Riggs.
“Where do you draw the line?” she asked. “Do we say no hand sanitizer? Do we not allow school glue? When you have several hundred children on field day being burnt, then we have to ask ourselves, ‘Do you want them to be safe or not?'”
Chancellor said district officials review school policies every year, and they may revisit this policy that deals with sunscreen.
But at this time, unless a child has a doctor’s note, they are not allowed to bring it to school.