Free-Range Kids

School Cancels Beach Trip Because Sunny Weather Is Unsafe

What isn't?

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Sand
Marzanna Syncerz / Dreamstime

File this under "fear of frying": A school in Jersey has cancelled its annual beach trip due to the possibility of sun.

According to the Bailiwick Express:

Students from St George's Preparatory in St Peter normally enjoy an end-of-year beach day but the school decided to cancel the outing, citing warnings about the dangers of mid-day sun exposure.

"In recognition of the Jersey Health department's advice regarding the dangers of the midday sun, it is with considerable regret that I have decided to cancel our annual day on the beach in July," Headmaster Colin Moore wrote, informing parents of the decision. "We are busy trying to organise a less exposed alternative event but believe whatever we do the children's health must take priority."

Perhaps the children can frolic in a classroom with the shades drawn. Or maybe there's a cozy cave nearby?

Mr Moore defended the decision today, saying while he believes children should spend time outdoors and enjoy the sunshine, the logistical difficulties of having 210-220 children of various ages on the beach for four hours swayed him toward cancellation.

He pointed out that individual classes still enjoy trips to the seaside—with the school's reception classes on a rock-pooling trip this week.

"For a class of 20 children, even at the younger ages, you can find shade, perhaps under a tree. If there are concerns, you can call a minibus and go back to the school," he said.

"With over 200 children, however, if you are on the beach for four hours, you are on the beach for four hours, in the hottest part of the day, and you cannot provide shade for 200-plus children."

Now, I do understand that this trip presents a challenge and that the sun can burn kids. And it really doesn't look like there's a lot of shade at this beach. But somehow, until this instant, this trip was an annual and presumably enjoyable outing. What's more, the health department itself tried to shed some light (har har) on its generic "beware the sun" warning:

The Health Department said today they encourage balance rather than outright sun avoidance for children.

"HSSD has not provided any advice that would encourage children to completely avoid enjoying the outdoors between the hours of 11 and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest," said Martin Knight, Head of Health Improvement.

"A balance needs to be struck between children gaining the benefits of sun exposure – including a sense of well-being, synthesis of vitamin D and outdoor physical activity – against the dangers of burning."

I feel for the headmaster, because once you start worst-first thinking, "What if the kids fry? Or get cancer?" nothing seems worth the risk. But that's what we're doing all the time—only considering risk, not joy or independence or even convenience, when it comes to our kids. So no foods seem safe enough, no equipment, no strangers, no playground surfacing, no unsupervised time, and now, no day at the beach.

On the plus side, parents won't have to spill sand out of their kids' shoes when they get home.

NEXT: And Now the Republicans Will Try to Use Orlando Attack to Undermine Citizens' Rights

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  1. Well, they’re English, they catch fire in direct sunlight.

    1. They teach kids in British schools about the sun the same way they teach about the liver: they know it exists and how it works, but few people ever actually see it.

    2. Damn it, UCS, I clicked on that just to make a pasty Englishmen joke. Mine would have been better though.

    3. Actually, they aren’t English. Jersey is not part of England or of the UK.

      1. I think it’s part of hell if I’m not mistaken.

      2. Jersey, officially the Bailiwick of Jersey, is a Crown dependency of the United Kingdom, ruled by the Crown in right of Jersey, off the coast of Normandy, France.

        1. Which just means that the monarch of the UK is the official head of state.

    4. I was going to say that mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun, but as others have pointed out, Jersey isn’t technically England.

      1. mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun

        And that’s how they managed to rule a big chunk of the world for a while.

  2. FOR THE CHILDREN!!!!

    1. Gingers make congee taste better.

  3. It’s completely natural for human beings to be cave dwellers, spending all day underground, like their evolutionary ancestors.

    It’s called the pales mole people lifestyle.

    1. It’s completely natural for human beings to be cave dwellers

      Tell me you were referencing this.

      1. God, I love Seinfeld.

    2. +1 Morlocks

  4. “A school in England has cancelled its annual beach trip due to the possibility of sun.”

    In England? Unlikely.

  5. Isn’t rickets a danger to children?

    1. Isn’t that why they call them limeys?

  6. Speaking as a redhead that practically bursts into flame in direct sunlight, I approve of this decision.

    1. I knew there was something wrong with you.

      1. Really, that’s the only thing you think is wrong with me? I guess I’ll have try harder.

        1. dude…this is H&R. The standards are pretty high and the bars really low.

          1. That’s why I keep tripping over someone’s drink

    2. Blond here, otherwise ditto. I hate the sun.

    3. TIL thrakkorzog has no soul

      1. Well, I am also an atheist so I kind of deny the existence of souls, and so, yeah I don’t have a soul. I usually try to avoid bringing that up, because I don’t want to be the obnoxious athiest guy.

      2. Of course he has a soul, he’s got tons of em,

        One for each freckle

    4. You don’t use enough sun block. Apply every hour without fail. Also make sure the damn thing is water proof and not water “resistant”.

      1. It’s really easy to miss a spot. Ever had second degree burns on the top of your feet? That’s not a an experience you’re going to forget anytime soon. Once you’re wearing big floppy hats with sunglasses and socks on the beach to prevent sunburns, then well it kind of becomes farcical.

        1. I learned to get very efficient with the sun block in Brazil. Everyone there laughs at me for using so much, but I don’t get burnt. I get a tan using SPF 50. Here I use 4 or 8 at most, since I want to get a little tan, just not burnt.

  7. If only there were a simple and affordable way to prevent sunburn.

      1. Antidepressants make that very expensive. Well, maybe not in the UK.

        1. Response does not compute.

          1. Being outdoors is a very important component of mental health, as is exercising.

    1. If only there were a simple and affordable way to prevent sunburn.

      No one needs sunblock when children are starving.

      1. There has been a modest proposal to fix that…

      2. At the very least, too many SPF options (kinda true, but I guess people feel safer in SPF 1000).

        1. Coming soon: SPF 1,000,000.

          Or, just go outside in blackface.

          1. Blackface absorbs the sun

          2. SPF 5,000 is really all you need anyways

        2. Some of us get sunburns from as little as ten minutes of exposure to midday sun. You’d be paranoid too.

          1. Don’t you live in Texas? England’s rays are far less extreme.

            1. I do, and that was during midsummer. I was just commenting on the high SPF options. Paranoia keeps you from having to go to the hospital.

      3. It won’t matter soon when all the women are in burkas.

    2. If only there were a simple and affordable way to prevent sunburn.

      Like choosing another activity where people keep their clothes on? Sunscreen might be great for lazy adults sunning on the beach, but from my experience as a kid, it didn’t stay on me so well while I raised hell and tarnation.

      “Don’t forget to put more sunscreen on bobby after you dig him up, children.”

      1. The sunscreens that they have now are not the same ones that they had when you were a kid.

        1. I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out they banned all of the effective sunscreens out of fear they’s poison a plankton or somesuch.

          1. There’s a no sunscreen rule in some sensitive areas. I had to shower with soap before I was allowed into the water next to a protected reef.

            1. Corals are crazy sensitive to everything. Not sure how they’ve managed to avoid extinction so long.

              1. cosmopolitan distribution maybe? too hard to wipe them all out?

            2. I had to shower with soap before I was allowed into the water next to a protected reef.

              I know I’ve done similar for other inland natural bodies of water but I’ll be damned if I can recall where. But it was less of a ‘protect the algae’ and more of an “If all every visitor added one drop of sunscreen, we’d have a layer 3″ thick within 3 mos.” type of issue.

              1. This was supposedly to protect exotic fish.

                I think places like Xel-ha do it too.

    3. Burqas?

      1. You jest, but I have it on “good authority” that the muslim hordes have already completely taken over parts of England and Europe. It won’t be so funny when they start forcing everyone to wear burqas for real. /sarc

        1. But they won’t be sunburned. Seriously though, I am allergic to most sunscreens, am very pale, and wear hijab when I have to be out in the sun. I am not Muslim. Islamic modesty garb is very well suited to protecting one from sunburn which may well be its cultural origin. Course human nature being what it is, things you can’t see become mysterious and sexual — add a religious justification on top of a practical clothing choice for a particular region and here you are.

        2. Yeah, and black is a bad color to wear in the sun. England probably the perfect place to wear a black tent though, since there’s no sun or warmth.

          1. Black is a bad color if your main consideration is heat. If your main consideration is blocking out all light then black is your friend.

    4. I’ve seen them in Portugal, they apparently don’t understand sunblock is necessary for the melanin deficient, and believe that “red” is a protective skin pigment.

    5. “They say the California sun is too much these days, ever since we lost the ozone layer. But that was before Sunblock 5000.”

  8. Wouldn’t it be prefect if there were another story about a mother being cited by the government for not giving her child enough sun exposure and, hence, depriving the poor child of vitamin D?

    1. Well, it’s plausible that the risk of death from vitamin D deficiency outweighs risk of death from skin cancer. So as usual, government trying to make things better actually makes things worse.

      1. Vitamin D can be included as a dietary supplement.

      2. Well, it’s plausible that the risk of death from vitamin D deficiency outweighs risk of death from skin cancer.

        What about the risk of cancer from vitamin D deficiency, hmmmm?

  9. Ohh and WOW, Britain takes a lot of dystopian stories literally.

    1. I actually read that story at some point. I remembered the plot but forgot the title and author.

    2. Man, I REALLY need to go read some more Ray Bradbury.

      1. well, let us not forget THIS one as well, since we are dystoping right now…

        So to tally we have:
        1984
        Brave new World
        All Summer in a Day
        Z for Zecharia
        and Star Trek First Contact

        1. Don’t forget We by Zamyatin.

          1984 is based on it.

    3. I saw the 30 minute adaptation. I remember it vividly.

  10. As if no one’s noticed =

    What used to be “Draconian, bureaucratic controls of people’s lives and restriction of choices/behaviors”

    is now

    “Promotion of safety”

    All it takes is some subtle shift in the usage of vocabulary, and whammo – new reality.

    1. Why do you want people to be in danger, GILMORE?

    2. If you’re healthy and safe, but your life is shit…what’s the point?

      You could be kept perfectly healthy and safe in a cage.

      1. Mmmm….veal.

      2. You could be kept perfectly healthy and safe in a cage.

        Don’t give them ideas.

  11. The UV index was 3 in England on summer solstice. 3. That’s right. 3.

    1. For the lazy indoors type, what does that translate to?

      1. You can be outside naked all day and you MIGHT burn a little.

      2. Well, Saturday Denver’s is predicted to be 10…but then again we don’t live ON the surface of the sun but we can see it from our porch.

        1. You’re not supposed to look directly at the sun… it’s shy.

          1. When I was a little kid my mother told me not to stare into the sun. So once when I was six I did. The doctors didn’t know if my eyes would ever heal. I was terrified, alone in that darkness. Slowly, daylight crept in through the bandages, and I could see. But something else had changed inside of me.

        2. Yeah, altitude increases UV exposure.

          I made sure to have on SPF 50 plus a hat and sleeves when I was on Mt. Haleakala. 10,000 feet high and in the tropics.

          1. People here really need to relax on the SPF #. After 30, its diminishing returns, so no need to go past it. The ACTIVE ingredients are what matter most. You WANT Zinc or Titanium Dioxide. They form a physical barrier versus a chemical barrier; they block a larger range of the UV spectrum too. Zinc is probably the best choice since many formulations are reported to be “reef safe”. *Note: you can get tinted zinc oxide sunblock so you don’t look pasty white after putting it on. ALL sunblock needs to be reapplied every four hours or sooner (if heavy sweating or swimming).

            1. Agreed on all of the above except; apply at 10, done at 2, problem solved. If you manage to burn between 2 and 3 because of ‘sunscreen decay’, you probably shouldn’t have been out in the sun to begin with.

              1. Yeah, there’s a about a three hour window where I can burn in So Cal in the summer. So I apply around that window.

                In Hawaii, it’s a little longer, so I re-apply once halfway through.

                There’s no reason to be putting on sunscreen at 7am. It’s a waste.

                1. There’s no reason to be putting on sunscreen at 7am. It’s a waste.

                  I’m actually thinking of the mothers I know insisting their kids wear the swim shirts *and* slathering SPF 50+ on them before they get in the water at 1600+ hrs.

              2. If you go swimming or are sweating heavily while out between 1000-1400, I stand by my statement to reapply the sunblock.

                1. Yeah, I didn’t mean to undermine everything you said. I just know plenty of helicopter parents who would take everything you said to the utmost and add 10%, sunrise to sunset (see above).

                  Less a refuting of the sun and exposure than a refuting of blind subjugation to the obnoxiousness of the selective application of the precautionary principle.

                  TL;DR- I had a bleeding, crusty mole in the middle of my back. Turns out I have skin, liver, and lymph node cancer because I got second-degree sunburn once when I was 7.

                  1. Agreed that people need to take REASONABLE precautions; life still needs to be lived. I can’t f***ing stand helicopter parents.

                    Very sorry to hear about your CA. I hope you’re headed towards, if not already in, remission. Maybe others will heed the advice for regular skin checks?

                    1. Not him, the article he linked to. Which is bullshit.

        3. Yeah, I just started wearing a hat and stuf. I’m sure I’ll have the skin cancer in a few years.

      3. The UV index in Tucson routinely gets above 11 in the summer.

    2. In contrast, the UV Index in my home town of Brisbane Australia for Thursday June 23, 3 days after the winter solstice is 4.

      1. I have to argue the significance of the solstice. The seasons affect the duration of day, not the luminous flux.

        1. It’s the angle of the dangle, so to speak.

        2. When the sun is at more of an angle, such as at the Winter Solstice, it has more atmosphere to go through. So, as others have already pointed out, but I can’t resist piling on, you’re wrong.

          1. Scarecrow wins by default. Penis reference.

        3. Well, I guess I need to go find a measure of the difference then, since I bought it up the onus is on me.

          Thanks for telling me I’m wrong though!

          1. Our pleasure, wylie.

            1. I think I need to take a break till after election season and everyone isn’t 200% snippy bitch.

              1. I hadn’t noticed a difference before or after elections.

          2. The low angle of Sun during the winter months means that incoming rays of solar radiation are spread over a larger area of the Earth’s surface, so the light received is more indirect and of lower intensity.

            Bam, I was wrong. Next time I’ll just hit wikipedia instead of trying to start a conversation.

            1. Hey, I would probably have gone along with you except, being from Oz, some of the stuff about the sun gets drilled into your head from a young age. Not to be terrified like the people in the story, but to be wise.

              1. I’m heavily invested in the development of a photoprotective drug, and the company is headquartered in Australia for exactly that reason.

    3. HOLY CRAP!

      Well, all you gingers now have a guide!

  12. Are British redheads of weaker stock? I got by fine in bright sunny Virginia.

    1. You must not be pure ginger.

      Do you bychance tan?

      1. “You must not be pure ginger.”

        I guess not. Both of my parents were redheads but maybe we’re more towards auburn on the spectrum.

        “Do you bychance tan?”

        I have a small very window to tan. It’s usually just pale to red though.

        1. If you don’t freckle, you’re not a true ginger.

          1. “If you don’t freckle, you’re not a true ginger.”

            So can I be “true” without being “pure”? These qualifiers are a bit confusing. I kept my face hairy for years in a vain attempt to slow down the freckling.

            1. I have a lot of freckles but not on my face and they’re the same ones I was born with. My mom was a ginger if that explains it. In heavy sun I turn red and eventually bubbly.

            2. These qualifiers are a bit confusing.

              Yeah, I’m calling B.S. on the freckles-ginger correlation. Unless we’re talking about free shit and special protections for the befreckled, then, count me in.

              1. If you’re a ginger, you have freckles. But not everyone with freckles is a ginger.

          2. this. My mom is a ginger and she only gets freckles or sunburn. My hair is reddish and I can tan slowly.

            1. Um… Pics of your tanlines?

      2. I grew up in Texas.

        And I don’t tan, it’s more like I just continually peel off chunks of burnt flesh. It’s about as unappealing as it sounds. So I try to stay in the dark.

    2. Cincinnati has Sun Alerts! on the radio in the morning.

      1. Possibly. I can’t remember, did they have souls?

        1. No, I don’t think so.

    3. Daywalker.

  13. Snowflakes do melt in the sun. This is known.

  14. Jersey isn’t part of England or the UK. I can’t believe I’m the first pedantic jerk to point this out.

    1. Don’t spoil the Joke!

      Plus, blame Lenore, it’s the first line in the article

      1. That’s why I mentioned it again as a direct response. So everyone knows what a pedantic jerk I can be.

    2. Technically that makes them French, but what lows the Norman breed have sunk to.

      But that means that Englishmen are free to go about in the noonday sun the same as mad dogs.

      1. It is a “crown dependency” of the UK. If anything, they’re British.

        1. And, along with Guernsey, the only parts of European Britain to be occupied during WWII.

    3. Is it part of France?

  15. What, shell out a few hundred bucks for pop-ups? Egads? Why would the school want to own such things?

  16. Fark for a while had a run on Stupid English Tricks. I remember three in particular.

    1. School cancelled Easter weekend festivities with parents because the grass was rough and the precious snowflakes might fall down while running around. This was kindergarten and first grade; that’s all they do! Run around, fall down, bawl like crazy until something distracts them, get up, repeat, lather, rinse.

    2. Firefighters were forbidden from using 3-step stepladders (you know, the kind in every kitchen) to check smoke alarms because they ahdn;t received any official training on them.

    3. Garbage collectors refused to pick up garbage from a two inch deep puddle when a garbage can fell over because that was a job for the water workers’ union.

    1. Run around, fall down, bawl like crazy until something distracts them

      Or until a parent or other adult pays attention to them, whichever comes first.

      1. In my experience, they don’t cry unless an adult is paying attention to them. I’ve seen it many times:

        Kid falls down, nobody is paying attention, kid gets up and carries on.

        Kid falls down, kid ESP detects adult attention, squalling ensues.

        1. Yes, and now American kids have apparently taken this way beyond toddler years and on into college.

  17. Why hazard a day out of doors when you can play ‘Beach 2016’ (available for X-Box and PlayStation)

  18. I thought they were all wearing burqas over there these days. What’s the issue?

  19. This is how good government works.

    “The updated law gives EPA the authorities we need to protect American families from the health effects of dangerous chemicals,” McCarthy said in a statement. “And at EPA, we’re excited to get to work putting it into action.”

    Now the EPA is expected to start reviewing at least 10 potentially toxic chemicals that are commonly found in households and businesses across the country: asbestos, formaldehyde and flame retardants. Those chemicals are in the framework of homes, cars, family sofas, clothing and even newspaper ink.

    I feel safer already.

    1. It’s a mixed decision on this one. EPA gains power, California loses some. Big Chemical wins.

    2. the EPA is expected to start reviewing … chemicals that are commonly found in households and businesses … in the framework of homes, cars, family sofas, clothing

      What could *possibly* go wrong?

  20. “With over 200 children, however, if you are on the beach for four hours, you are on the beach for four hours, in the hottest part of the day, and you cannot provide shade for 200-plus children.”

    Granted, sun exposure can be a real concern, especially given the pasty complexion of the average Briton, however, THERE’S THIS NEW THING CALLED SUNBLOCK, YOU LIMEY FUCK!

    1. They are Normans, not Britons.

      1. Whatever sub-species of Homo Limeitus (aka Limey Fucks), then.

      2. after 1066 what difference does it make?

        +1 William

  21. Bubble Boy suits for all! It’s a right!

  22. “you cannot provide shade for 200-plus children.”

    Get them to take turns shading each other.

    Must I explain *everything*?

  23. File Under = “Well, That’s One Way to Describe Things

    Actual descriptions of “people sitting on floor, because if they actually campaigned on gun-control? they’d lose elections” =

    The protest was the latest bold move by Democrats

    Hillary Clinton tweeted her support for the sit-in, saying, “This is what real leadership looks like.”

    Democratic Leader James Clyburn, likened the push for gun control action to the civil rights movement of the 1960s

    sans firehoses

    1. Plus paychecks and pensions.

    2. Democratic Leader James Clyburn, likened the push for gun control action to the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

      MLK was a gun owner on FBI watch lists. John Lewis is a disgrace.

      1. In recent years, I’ve become increasingly saddened by what’s happened to some of the original civil rights leaders. People like John Lewis and (to a lesser extent) Julian Bond were, in my mind, genuine heroes. But, then they got into politics and just became typical hacks.

    3. Democratic Leader James Clyburn, likened the push for gun control action to the civil rights movement of the 1960s

      *facepalm*

      …I… have no words… none.

      1. I guess he neglected to mention the progressive movement of the early 1900s.

        1. Oh yes, back when the commies needed to change their name.

      2. Well, consider the source, that is all.

      3. because they’re going to have those n****** voting for gun control for the next 200 years?

  24. Keep ’em grey and pink!

  25. So no outdoor field trips in Philadelphia?

  26. “…the school decided to cancel the outing, citing warnings about the dangers of mid-day sun exposure.”

    In other words, the school acknowledging that only ‘mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noon-day sun.’

  27. So, if Brexit, then can limey chillins have some sun and fun?

    I’m surprised that Theresa May hasn’t introduced a bill to ban the sun yet, anyway. Maybe she’ll just come up with a list to put the chillins on if they get some sun.

  28. “We are busy trying to organise a less exposed alternative event but believe whatever we do the children’s health must take priority so we don’t get our ass sued by the first parent whose kid gets sunburn.”

    Real motivation substituted.

  29. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. This being part of the British Isles, they likely had no clue what that orange-yellow glowing orb in the sky was.

  30. Now, I do understand that this trip presents a challenge and that the sun can burn kids.

    This was an annual trip, right? How’ve they dealt with it in all the previous annuals? Or is that some kind of lost knowledge of the ancients about which modern man (sexist!) can only dream?

    1. Previously the Arch Druid cast a spell to restore the permanent cloud cover.

  31. Thus is born a new generation of goths…

  32. In recent years, I’ve become increasingly saddened by what’s happened to some of the original civil rights leaders. People like John Lewis and (to a lesser extent) Julian Bond were, in my mind, genuine heroes. But, then they got into politics and just became typical hacks.http://liberateulysses.com/

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