Do Not Apply Sunscreen To Kids, Camp Counselors Told

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Applying sunscreen just got a whole lot stickier. Last month, Maryland health officials issued a policy prohibiting summer camp counselors from assisting kids with applying sunscreen. Why? They were afraid of inappropriate touching. Parents, on the other hand, were afraid of sunburn (and rightly so!).

The law did not go into effect thanks to some last-minute revisions, though parents still have to sign a waiver agreeing to have counselors help apply sunscreen. “We regret the confusion caused,” Clifford C. Mitchell, assistant health director for environmental health and food protection, told The Washington Post.

The original guidelines said that camp staff should limit touching campers as much as possible and that campers are prohibited from even assisting each other in applying sunscreen. “Our intention is certainly not to discourage the use of sunblock,” Mitchell said. “It’s really to walk a fine line between protecting kids’ skin and making sure they feel personally safe.”

It’s true that perverts do exist out there but to even consider implementing such a policy is absurd. We should be teaching kids to look out for suspicious behavior and to report anything that feels even slightly wrong or uncomfortable. Besides, most parents are more concerned about their kids getting a sunburn at camp; I know that I personally worry about that with my 5-year-old, who has no clue how to thoroughly apply sunscreen on his own.

(Photo: iStockphoto)