Bubbleboy and Sunscreen

My boy is fair-skinned.  If I go overboard with one thing its sunscreen. At the first sign of sun the 50 SPF lotion comes out and it goes on thick: face, arms, neck, ears, legs – everything exposed and then some. Not too long ago I severely burned my back because I was so focus on getting every last corner of his little white body covered that I forgot that my skin, too, tends to burn to a crisp. It was nasty, my whole body ached, I could barely sleep – never, ever would I want to risk that for the little one.

A good thing about modern times: the sunscreens have gotten so much better since I was a child when a factor 8 seemed like this outlandish number and we generally used something more like a 4. The bad thing: the stuff is still sticky and gooey and nobody likes to apply it .

Where is she going with this, you ask.   See, the latest and greatest idea at after-school revolves around sunscreen. In school it is now considered a medicine. Yes, you heard right, like Vioxx – ooh bad example – or the purple pill, or that stuff they tell you you should use for your restless legs, you know the one that makes your legs crawl just from watching the ad.  So, it has been declared that henceforward sunscreen is considered medicine and will therefore no longer be applied by the teachers.

The rational: to avoid the spread of communicable disease. How lame is that?  Has anybody ever read a story osomebody contracting Dengue fever, Cholera or Chickenpox from sunscreen lotion.  Me neither.  (btw, if you want to check out a list of communicable diseases, here is a link: http://www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/communicable/)

The real reason I think: the teachers don’t want to put the gooey stuff on 20 kids.  You know, had they just come out straight and said: “listen, we don’t want to deal with sunscreen, too much hassle, it’s kind of yuck and anyway, we are being paid way too little for this crap.” I would had some sympathy, not a lot, but some.

But communicable diseases?? what it means is that every time (!!) not once a season but every time (!) I want them to put sunscreen on my child I need to fill out a medicine authorization form.  Of course, nobody does that and they got themselves out of the sunscreen-applying business without ever as much as admitting that it is for their convenience but putting the tired old “we-just-want-the-best-for-your-child” cloak around it.  Know what?  It sucks!
Normally fall has me depressed and winter is the time where I browse the Internet for bargain real estate in Mexico but this year – in this one respect – I am glad winter is coming. At least I can postponed the sunscreen hassle for a few more months.

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