Posted by: Ann Corcoran | July 2, 2011

Only in Maryland: the great kids’ summer camp sunscreen kerfuffle

…..and on the front page of the Washington Post today no less….sheesh!

We just experienced a huge political earthquake in Maryland that the Washington Post could barely bring itself to mention, here (and then used the AP for its story), but they have space on the front page to tell us about the great clash of the  nanny state regulations! 

Federal health warnings direct parents to slather their kids with sunscreen to protect kids from the damaging rays of the sun (never mind that we are learning that Vitamin D deficiency is turning into a health risk of perhaps greater proportion) vs. the potential danger of (are you ready!) a camp counselor TOUCHING YOUR KID!

We learn that Maryland has some of the strictest laws in the nation regarding sunscreen application to kids at camp.

Anyone running for public office should be making hay (when the sun shines) with some of the incredible news the Peoples Republic of Maryland is generating these days.*

The WaPo:

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.

A report on that policy was posted Friday afternoon on washingtonpost.com. Late Friday, health officials said they recognized that the policy had caused confusion, and said revisions were underway.

The revised policy will make it clear “that, in fact, parents do” need to give permission for kids to have sunblock, said Clifford C. Mitchell, assistant health director for environmental health and food protection.

But he said, “It will be silent on the thing that has raised questions. It will not deal with issues of contact in any way.”

The guidelines, issued June 10, had been described as among the toughest in the nation.

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.

“We regret the confusion caused,” Mitchell said Friday night in an interview.

The rules were aimed at protecting children from inappropriate touching at camp, but they came as the federal government campaigns for parents to get more serious about protecting children against damage to skin the sun’s rays can inflict.

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.”

And, that isn’t all, the story goes on….and on…..

* Correct me if I’m wrong but did any candidate planning to run against Sen.Cardin mention the Petition drive victory?  Did any brave potential candidate remark about the fact that the DNC sent one of its top lawyers to Maryland to help CASA de Maryland go after the citizenry?  Or, did anyone mention that Maryland was last in the nation in job creation?  Any comments on those statistics about how Maryland is number two in the country in food stamp fraud?  Just wondering!


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