Should Camp Counselors Be Allowed To Apply Sunscreen On Kids?

CHICAGO (CBS) — On bright sunny day, should day camp counselors apply sunscreen on your child?

It’s a hot topic for debate, and CBS 2 viewers weighed in on Thursday.

The Chicago Tribune reported that day camps have been left in an awkward position when it comes to sunscreen. If counselors put on the sunscreen, they run the risk of being accused of inappropriate touching, but if they do not, the children might get sunburned and will be exposed to harmful rays.

The Tribune reports camps are split on the issue in the Chicago area. Some tell parents to put sunscreen on their children before they leave home, or have the children bring it to apply themselves — provided that parents sign a permission slip.

Camps also often restrict hugging between children and counselors, and other interactions that require physical contact, so as to avoid anything that could be “misconstrued,” the Tribune reported.

But other camps say the risk of sunburn is not worth it, and counselors who are trained in appropriate touching go ahead and apply the sunscreen – or they eliminate the touching issue altogether with spray-on sunscreen, the newspaper reported.

CBS 2 viewers weighed in on the issue Thursday morning, via Susan Carlson’s Facebook page. They were likewise divided in the issue, with some saying counselors should not be entrusted with the situation – particularly if working alone.

“I think parents should apply it before the child leaves or teach them to do it themselves,” wrote Kandyce Baker. “If assistance is needed by a counselor, then the buddy system is the way to go. never a counselor alone with a child.”

But others thought worries about inappropriate touching while applying sunscreen may be going overboard.
“It only last so long and needs be applied more than one time,” wrote Marilyn Shelby. “As long as more than one person is in the room it should be OK. We do have to trust sometimes.”

“Lock the kids in a closet, then you won’t have to worry about any one touching them or the harmful rays of the sun,” wrote Karen Sala. “I think we are getting crazy!”

But Baker said she believes it is best to err on the side of caution.

“Even if every camp counselor in the world had good intentions, the child could be confused if they are ever molested – if they are used to strangers putting their hands on them. They might think it is normal,” she wrote.

Meanwhile, viewers Craig Lane and Linda Findlay love both argued in favor of spray-on sunscreen as the best solution.

  • South Side

    More evidence that the country has gone mad, with no room for common sense.

  • Robert

    apply to sun screen to arms and neck and face region – just keep your hands out of the shorts – and those other untouchable regions of the body

    or how about this – spray on sunscreen……no touching of body parts required

  • Gooch

    I don’t know what is worse – the possibility of a camp counselor getting his/her jollies out of rubbing sunscreen on a young camper, or the sick minds that think up such things to warn parents about. It sounds like we are about to revert back to Salem where there was a witch behind every barn door.

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  • Arjay

    Let the kid get burned. End of story. Unless the counselor haws “crazy parent” insurance.

  • FR

    For the counselors own good, they should use spray-on sunscreen to avoid any accusations.

  • Colleen

    It’s best to keep your hands off the kids.

  • retiredinAZ1

    So sad that this is what our society has come to……first of all…..use the spray sun screen …then there is no reason to touch a child. Now there are no hello / good-by hugs? Again, so sad….some of the children need the hugs….may be the only hug they receive that day….that week! just use common sense…a simple hug with a pat on the back and that is it…I see nothing wrong with that at all. we have REALLy gone overboard with all this!

  • MrsTT

    Duh! SPRAY-ON sunscreen! It’s a no-brainer.
    Why is this even being discussed?

  • Jim Turner

    Simple solution: spray on sunscreen

  • Doug

    Why does this generation insist on making so much work out of everything? In the 50’s, the camp was covered because they sent a letter stating that the kids must bring “sun tan lotion”. Kids who decided to use it would ask other kids to rub or spray it on their backs. That’s the only place an able-bodied person can’t reach. Come on, folks. How tough is it? This whole story sounds like an Onion video.

  • Tanya Livingston

    Understand that pedofiles choose professions that allow them access to children….like Priests, Scout leaders and coaches. It is good clinical practice not to touch children and to have at least another adult around at all times. One more thing, why does the Church fully cooperate with police and get rid of priests when it invloves the stealing of Church funds and when it comes to sex abuse, they deny and delay and cover up?

    • Gerald Spencer

      You are a total idiot, The majority of “pedofiles” are the parents themselves.

  • HooDatIS?

    hell to the mothereffing NO
    no one better not ever rub anything on a child if aint their own

  • BingoBrown

    Christ, has it really come to this? What if the kid asks to have it applied because they can’t reach their back? What if an older camper is asked by a younger camper to help them? If you’re paranoid about your kid being touched inappropriately, either don’t leave them with anybody that isn’t you or provide spray sunscreen in this case. If your job is to help kids safely enjoy their summer, sun protection being a part of that, you shouldn’t have to worry about what a parent who isn’t anywhere near their kid thinks about it. If you aren’t doing anything wrong, you shouldn’t have to worry about people thinking you are. And if you do have malintent, you shouldn’t be employed at a job that puts you around kids.

  • Gerald Spencer

    The sick SOB is the one who thought of posting this question. Children have more to worry about from their immediate family and then from their school teachers. Half the parents ddn’t wish to be parents and 90% of all school teachers went into education because they failed in their original chosen fields. Too hard to be an accountant, too hard to know science, too hard to pass sand box in PE; go into education, become a teacher.

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