Permission Needed for Sunscreen at Kansas Daycares

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- At daycare centers in Kansas, outdoor playtime and recess can't begin until kids are protected from the sun.

Students at schools such as Kids R Kids in Overland Park get slathered in sunscreen 20 minutes before heading out to play. Moms and dads are required to give their permission when students enroll for school, giving teachers freedom to prepare kids for the sun. The Kansas Department of Health says that permission is a must.

"We have a specific form that we ask the parents to authorize permission for the specific sunscreen that we provide," said Julie Hendrickson, school director at Kids R Kids.

"The parents have an opportunity to bring in their own sunscreen. That's completely fine," Hendrickson said. "We just need their permission once again, due to specific sun irritations and such."

Hendrickson has been school director at Kids R Kids for the entire four-year existence of the school.

Staff members use gloves to apply sunscreen to faces and arms, which keeps them within state regulations and keeps parents confident that children are safe.

"I'd rather have sunscreen on my child even if there wasn't a form for it," said Megan White, whose three-year-old daughter attends the school. "I'd rather deal with a possible skin irritation or allergic reaction than a horrible burn just because there wasn't a form signed."

The state of Kansas also has guidelines regarding hot days and when it's safe to let little children play outdoors. Those guidelines, in short, say some days, the Fahrenheit climbs too high and kids at schools like this Kids R Kids have to stay indoors.

"Our ultimate goal is to keep the children safe and healthy, and we're going to do anything it takes to do that for the children," Hendrickson said.

And sometimes, a little sunscreen is worth a lot of care.

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