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Melbourne mum petitions schools to make sunscreen mandatory

Melbourne mother of two Danielle Raisher is petitioning the Australian government to adopt a mandatory sunscreen policy for schools.

The online petition proposes that “every Australian primary school should be supplying SPF30+ sunscreen in the classroom for students to use before heading out into the school playground”, echoing the existing ‘no hat, no play’ policy.

Ms Raisher told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell she was shocked by her son’s school’s response to her request to apply sunscreen regularly to the six-year-old, with the school agreeing only after learning the boy lost his father to melanoma.

“We’ve got hundreds of kids out on ovals where there’s no shade sails, they’re out there for a good hour, hour and a half in the peak of the day when the UV is really, really high,” she said.

“A five- or six-year-old child cannot be responsible for putting their own sunscreen on.”

The petition has gained little traction, which Ms Raisher attributes to the reluctance of parents to “make a big fuss about it”.

“I think a lot of parents are a little bit scared to go against the schools.”

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Some 3AW listeners, however, have pushed back against Ms Raisher’s proposal.

Jane, a former school principal, told Neil teachers would feel uncomfortable applying sunscreen to a student.

“It’s very, very discouraged for teachers to be touching children in schools these days, for obvious reasons.”

Another listener, Carol, felt responsibility lay with parents to make sure their kids are protected.

“Teachers have got so much responsibility these days, and you want them to do this too?”

To sign the petition, click HERE.

Image: JohnnyGreig / Getty