Or is it another example of the “wussification of America?” I don’t know how to classify this story, other than it is a sad commentary on what is happening to America. Bureaucrats in Maryland, who obviously have too much time on their hands, are issuing rules governing sunscreen on summer camps.
Have we really reached the point where we need to regulate approval for sunscreen use? And have we terrified ourselves to the point where we assume camp counselors are potential pedophiles (or, are we stupid enough to think rules like this would stop a real pedophile?). In any event, this story would have been perfect for my post comparing bureaucratic stupidity in the US vs bureaucratic stupidity in the UK.
Here’s an excerpt from the Washington Post.
Maryland health officials were making revisions late Friday night to a new policy that would have severely restricted who could apply sunscreen to children attending summer camps. The new policy, which was issued last month, ordered summer camp operators to steer away from assisting kids with applying sunscreen and to get parents’ permission before letting any child use sunscreen at camp. …The guidelines said, “Camp staff should limit touching the camper as much as possible. Under no circumstances should campers assist each other in the application of sunscreen.” The policy also prohibited camps from supplying sunscreen to campers. …Health officials had argued that their motivation was strictly about safety. “Our intention is certainly not to discourage the use of sunblock,” Mitchell said. “It’s really to walk a fine line between protecting kids’ skin and making sure they feel personally safe.” Mitchell said he did not know of any cases of inappropriate touching by counselors that might have led to the new regulations. At camps across Maryland, parents are receiving permission forms asking whether their child may use sunscreen while at camp. At the Barrie Day Camp in Silver Spring, for example, parents who allow their child to use sunscreen must also check off on whether the sunblock may be applied with or without assistance from staff members. “The camp is just doing what the state ordered them to do,” said Paul Basken, a father of two children who attend Barrie camp. “But this can’t be serious. I mean, if I didn’t feel safe about the camp, I just wouldn’t send my kids there.” …The rules are “absurd,” said Maral Skelsey, a dermatologist in Chevy Chase. “This is the biggest known carcinogen that children are exposed to. We should be asking camp counselors to take an active role in promoting skin protection.”
Our Founding Fathers must be looking down at us, shaking their heads and wondering “where did we go wrong?”