What if your child came home from school with severe sunburns because of a law that prevents her from applying sunscreen?

It's exactly what happened when Jesse Michener's two daughters, Violet and Zoe, who arrived from school in pain with blisters on their face and their normally fair skin glowing red. The two girls, 11 and 9, had baked for five hours outside during field day without being able to apply sunscreen. You see, their school has a ban that says teachers can't apply sunscreen to students, and even worse, students who wish to use sunscreen need a doctor's note.

Are you kidding me?

My light-skinned husband once burned on a cloudy day in Ecuador, and he was in bad shape for almost a week. I can't imagine the kind of pain Violet and Zoe suffered. Plus, Zoe suffers from a form of albinism, so her skin is especially sensitive. Even my caramel-colored child sometimes looks pasty white because I'm constantly painting him with sunscreen and I'm always warning him to avoid sun damage and sunburns.

The Tacoma School district apologized for the incident but cited the Washington state law that prevents the use of sunscreen.

This isn't just a local problem, though. Turns out 49 states have instituted sunscreen bana. I understand why there might be valid concerns about teachers touching their students in order to apply sunscreen, but I don't get why a student would need a note from the doctor to self-apply.

Understandably, Jesse Michener is now on a mission to change this ban in Washington. Hopefully, other states will realize how ridiculous and dangerous this can be for a child and follow suit.

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Image via ABC News

About the author

Jenny Mero is a NYC-based writer, editor, entrepreneur, & mom. Previously, she was an editor at Selecciones. Before that, she spent five years as a reporter at Fortune magazine. She graduated from Wesleyan University.

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theha...

First of all, school DO SEND NOTES explaining this at the start of the year.  Parents are sent another note informing about the field day and telling them to apply it before the children arrive to school.  She can't blame the school when she admits she did not apply sunscreen to her daughters that morning.  Second, sunscreen allergies are not all that uncommon.  While they might not land you in the hospital, a lot of kids have allergic reactions to the sunscreen.  My kids break in hives with certain brands, and if I apply it too often.  My neighbor told me she has the same problem with 2 of her kids and that she has scaled down.  My other neighbor's kids have eczema and it gets worse with sunscreen.  I can't understand why is she making a big issue.  

theha...

She knew she needed that note from the doctor, and if her daughter in fact has albinism she should have that note for everything, summer camps, etc., will ask for that note.  I do like the fact that the schools do not allow the kids to take it to school and reaply.  I certainly do not want my kid using somebody else's sun protection and not knowing what brand it was if he has an adverse reaction.  I also have to wonder why this mother did not equiped her daughter well, when schools ask for them to bring hats, and appropiate clothing, knowing that they will be outside in the sun the whole day.  I have to wonder where it was, because here in Houston they do create breaks in between to get the kids out of the sun for a few minutes.  Also, most of the times parents are invited, if she knew her daughter was going to be exposed to the sun and wanted to apply sunscream she should have been there that day.

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