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Home » Health

Day care regulators fight the real menace: Sunscreen

Submitted by on Sunday, 1 June 2008 No Comment
Originally published May 30, 2007, thehive.modbee.com    Here’s an opportunity for local meth manufacturers in a bind as production increasingly is outsourced to Mexico. Sunscreen. Seems it’s the new hidden menace. Recently, my day care’s licensing agency told the director that staff can’t apply sunscreen to the children. It’s a “medication.” I’m sure glad the licensing agency nipped this one in the bud. Turns out, sunscreen is a dangerous, dangerous substance. I bet the FDA is even looking into reclassifying it as a narcotic. From the hands of preschool teachers to the clutches of a corner drug dealer. No doubt, it’s a direct path, and I was willing to send my young innocents down it. Bad, bad Mommy! Bad, bad media! For years, we’ve written stories about the long-term dangers of sun exposure, and I’ve mindlessly believed them. Once again, we’ve missed the real point. According to drugs.com – ah-HA! There’s a tip-off. I found the information at a drug site – it’s possible to poison yourself with sunscreen. But, and this is an important but, sunscreen is considering “non-toxic,” meaning it’s not going to kill you. “Swallowing sunscreen usually just causes mild stomach upset and vomiting.” I also found a story about a Michigan fisherman who says sunscreen poisoned him</FONT></A> when he licked his lips after applying it.  OK, so that’s one case. I’m sure there are others, but I bet they’re dwarfed in numbers by cases of sun poisoning. Or melanoma. Yes, I can apply the sunscreen before we leave in the morning. But here’s the problem: I have yet to find a waterproof sunscreen that works for itchy, allergic Big Guy. Neutrogena Sensitive Skin is the only brand – and I’ve tried many -- that protects him without causing an eczema flare-up. Problem is, it needs reapplied frequently. Big Guy has my complexion – a whiter shade of pale. So even if I put it on with a power washer in the morning, no way will he be protected in the afternoon. But, hey, what’s a little skin cancer if the licensing agency can keep dangerous medications out of preschools. In the interests of full disclosure, I have to mention the tiny print at the bottom of the drugs.com sunscreen page. “Some suntan lotions contain a type of alcohol called ethanol. Children who swallow a large amount of such products may become intoxicated (drunk).” Hmm … Now that I think about it, Big Guy did look a little tipsy last weekend. Dear God, what have I done? In trying to protect him from cancer, I’ve hooked him on a gateway drug. Maybe that’s what the licensing agency knew that I didn’t, in my rush to judge this new policy as ridiculous. They see far more kids than I do, and I’m sure they’ve witnessed the horrors. Toddlers jonesing for their next Coppertone fix. Preschoolers begging for a hit of Hawaiian Tropic. I bet there’s a whole Betty Ford wing I don’t even know about. And here I thought the licensing agency was engaging in a bout of “don’t you have enough to do” regulation. Turns out, I should thank those vigilant folks for alerting me to this threat.  Copyright 2007 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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