Students need note for bug spray, sunscreen - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Students need note for bug spray, sunscreen

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - It’s hot and dry outside, so sunscreen is a must. And very soon, bug spray will be too.

However, did you know that you need a doctor’s note to allow your child to use sunscreen and bug spray at school?

The Palm Beach County School District says these rules are necessary because the chemicals in these products can cause harmful reactions for some students.

If parents want their kids to be able to use those products at school, the nurses can help, but they have to have that doctor’s note.

When it comes to sunscreen, Maria Diaz never imagined that her 13-year-old daughter would actually need a doctor’s note to be able to apply it in school.

“Middle school, these kids are going to high school in a year or two,” said Diaz.

With the continued threat of Zika, what’s more surprising and a much bigger concern for Diaz, is that her daughter would also need a doctor’s note to be able to have and use bug spray at school too.

“It’s ridiculous,” said Diaz. “This is preventable and it's nothing that has to be administered by an adult.”

The Palm Beach County School District released this statement saying:

“Because sunscreens have a variety of chemicals in them that may cause  reactions by some students, or end up in their eyes or mouth, the District must be cautious with how and where sunscreen is administered in schools. Parents who wish to apply sunscreen are encouraged do so before sending them to school for the day.

If parents would like for their child to receive a reapplication of sunscreen during the day, the school nurse can supervise the application once a doctor's note is on file with the school.”

“Even before Zika, we see a lot of skin infections just from mosquito bites,” explained physician Dr. Jerisa Berry.

Berry says whether it's bug spray or sunscreen, it’s important for parents and the district to know that both protections are necessary, and both should be re-applied.

“Schools and administrations should keep that in mind, that even though the parent put it on at home that there will need to be reapplication later,” said Berry.

While parents may be familiar with these district rules, most of the parents we spoke with were not.

And not all of those parents disagreed with the required doctor’s note.

The FDA regulates products like sunscreen as an over-the-counter-medication.

This rule is seen in districts across the country. Some states are in the process of trying to change those rules.

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