Imagine your child coming home from a school field day with excruciating sunburns—all because the school refused to let her use sunblock!
It happened to 11-year-old Violet Michener of Tacoma, Washington, and her 9-year-old sister, Zoe.
Zoe's shoulders were also burned and peeling.
"What went through your mind when you came home and saw the sunburns that your children had developed that day?" asked INSIDE EDITION's Paul Boyd.
"She had a mask of red around her forehead and her eyes—she had white here and here [points at her eyes.] But the rest was just weltish, and swollen, and very red. And Zoe's arms and shoulders were just terribly, terribly burned," said their mother, Jesse Michener.
It was so serious that Zoe and Violet, who have pale skin that is especially sensitive to sunlight, had to be taken to a local hospital.
School officials actually told Jesse that they knew the children were burning up, but they couldn't do anything because a doctor's prescription was required to use sunblock in school.
"The kids were in the sun, they were getting burned—people saw they were getting burned, commented on it, and nobody did anything," said Jesse.
A spokesman for the school district in Tacoma Washington said, "All over-the-counter and prescription medications require a doctor's note, whether they're administered by staff or the students themselves. Unmonitored, it could be shared with other students and cause an allergic reaction."
Washington State is not unusual. Every state except California actually restricts schools from using sunblock—to protect children who may be allergic.
Jesse wrote about the incident on her blog, under the headline "Burn Babies, Burn." Now, their story is causing outrage.
INSIDE EDITION showed photographs of the children's sunburn to New York dermatologist Dr. Doris Day.
"The idea that a school can think that there's a reason not to let a child apply sunscreen to their skin to help protect against the damaging rays of ultra-violet radiation—it's just mind boggling," said Dr. Day.