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Ask The Green Mama: My daycare won’t stop spraying on that sunscreen

Just curious what the safer sunscreen options are for daycare? I just read your article on Is Your Sunscreen Doing More Harm than Good? Probably And it warned against using spray sunscreen: any spray sunscreen. My daycare providers will only apply spray sunscreen, as they don't touch the kids for legal reasons. Kirsten

It is so interesting that you sent this question as I was just talking about this with my friend who is the director of a nonprofit daycare. She had mentioned that they are required to apply sunscreen every two hours and that she was worried about the kinds of sunscreen that were being used. Licensing requirements can be really frustrating. I know because I’ve worked with a number of daycares to go green and every state/province has different rules.I  know childcare centres that have parents bring their own sunscreen and sunhats, others that ask the children to come with sunscreen already on and then ensure they have sun hats.

Although not being able to “touch” the kids, well, that sounds made up. I have never seen this written into any of the health regulations that I’ve read. How can you run a childcare centre and not touch a child? Why would any parent ever want that? Nobody to wipe a bum if a child needs help or clean up a skinned knee or help with really dirty hands. I asked my friend and she thought that the daycare misunderstood or wasn’t being completely honest with you. I have also called the Vancouver Coastal Health authority just to see what they have to say.

I also have a few options of “spray” sunscreens that aren’t really sprays and thus have less hazard. Check out our top picks for kids and other tips here.  I think you will find a lot of information from this Green Mama article on the subject. I would also print out this article and give it to your childcare facility because the workers are being exposed as well to chemicals and ingredients that we know can cause cancer when inhaled. They are inhaling that stuff everyday with every kid.

Please stay in touch. There are so many others dealing with this and I’d love to know how it goes! Stay strong mama.