Quote of the Day: Sunblock and Sexual Abuse

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From the Washington Post, in a story about a new Maryland regulation preventing adults from helping kids apply sunscreen at summer camp:

Mitchell said he did not know of any cases of inappropriate touching by counselors that might have led to the new regulations.

Sexual abuse is a serious problem, but it’s long past time for America to stop reacting to it literally insanely. In this case, not only is it nuts to discourage the use of sunblock on kids (“the biggest known carcinogen that children are exposed to” the story says), but it’s doupleplusnuts to do it in response to no known cases of sunblock application causing any actual problems of inappropriate touching.

Anyway, the rules are now being relaxed. However, parents will still have to sign a form giving permission for camp counselors to apply sunblock. I guess that moving from rules that are pathological to rules that are merely neurotic is a step in the right direction, but only a step. It’s time to dial the fear level on this stuff way, way back.

Via Michael O’Hare.

UPDATE: I guess this is old news, and it’s not just Maryland. It’s not even just America. In comments, Syd Egan provides the grim news: “This has been the case in England for a while now — *no* summer camp will allow their staff to apply sunblock — you have to send your child with it, and sign that you’ve taught him/ her how to apply it themselves… even when the child is 3!!”

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