Teachers are helping young children apply sunscreen using a new ‘no-touch’ gadget to protect themselves against allegations of child abuse.

The roll-on applicator allows teachers to apply cream to children’s skin without violating school rules banning physical contact with pupils.

Its creators said it is also perfect for use by children as its design prevents the usual mess associated with youngsters putting on the lotion.

The gadget, called ‘Solar Buddies’, costs £7 online and has already been snapped up by more than 400 parents for their children’s schoolbags.

It comes amid growing concern that youngsters are failing to put on enough sunscreen in the summer months, with teachers powerless to help them apply it. While there is no national policy on contact in classrooms, many schools have banned teachers from touching pupils, even to restrain or comfort them.

Teachers’ unions have in the past told members to avoid touching pupils to guard against complaints of physical or sexual abuse.

Solar Buddies was created by Kelli Aspland, 36, and Laura Griffin, 32, two stay-at-home mums from Cwmbran, South Wales.

Their website reads: ‘Kelli and Laura first had their idea for the child-friendly sun lotion applicator whilst discussing the “No Touch Policies” most schools now have in place when it comes to applying sun lotion to children. ‘The Solar Buddies applicator assists teachers and school staff in applying the lotion to children in a safe, convenient and mess-free way.

‘The idea behind the Solar Buddies came not only to help safeguard the children, but teachers too.

‘After talking to a lot of parents it was evident they would be more confident if their child was protected correctly.’

The pair came up with the idea when they noticed how much of a mess their children were making while trying to apply their own sunscreen at school.

They took inspiration from deodorant applicators to create the gadget, which involves a roller ball to control the flow of cream and a sponge to spread it on the skin.

The bottle is refillable so parents can choose the product most suitable for their child.

Around 5,000 have been made so far, with the help of Cardiff Metropolitan University and supported by charity Melanoma UK.

Mrs Griffin, who has three children, said: ‘We can’t believe the positive feedback we’ve had.

‘It’s been a tough journey but also a very exciting one and we feel this is just the beginning.’

Following a number of incidents in which children were sunburnt at school, the union NASUWT advised teachers to supervise suncream application rather than apply it themselves.

It said: ‘They have a duty of care for their pupils but also have to be aware of the dangers involved with touching children to apply suncream on their skin.

‘Children should apply their own suncream. For younger children or for pupils with special educational needs this may be under the supervision of a member of staff if necessary, or pupils may be kept indoors if none is available.

‘The union does recognise that in some instances there may be agreements in individual schools where parents consent to a member of staff applying suncream, particularly with young children.

‘However, NASUWT advice is that teachers should not apply suncream to children.’

Courtesy: Daily Mail