Chapstick at School - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 03-20-2013, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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My daughter gets really dry lips in the winter, and she will lick her lips until she has a rash around her mouth. I've had luck with asking her to use chapstick when she feels like licking her lips, but her teacher has forbid it in her classroom, saying it's disruptive. I tried encouraging my daughter to use it in the bathroom, but between actually needing to pee, asking to use the bathroom before she eats (because, disgustingly, they don't have the kids wash their hjands before they eat), and the chapstick, her teacher started refusing tot her use the bathroom, saying she was going too often. She's there full-day. I'm not sure what to do. Any suggestions?

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#2 of 12 Old 03-20-2013, 11:26 AM
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Hmm. I think if it were me, I'd probably email the teacher and ask her what would be the least disruptive way for your dd to use chapstick, as she needs to use it to keep her lips from getting sore and hurting. I think teachers sometimes respond more positively if you go in asking for their help rather than complaining about their rules. No chapstick? I guess if there have been problems it makes some sense to make some rules about it, but the need for it seems legitimate enough that banning it completely seems extreme to me.

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#3 of 12 Old 03-20-2013, 11:37 AM
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I'd get maybe one of the "medicine" looking ones like blistex and argue that it isn't chapstick? Or get her the type that comes in pots so she can dip her finger in it under her desk and apply it while the teacher isn't looking? If I were a teacher and saw a kid seriously had raw lips and was doing it as discreetly as possible, I'd look the other way. I imagine the rule is meant for kids who are pretending to do makeup in the middle of class and smacking their lips. 

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#4 of 12 Old 03-20-2013, 12:13 PM
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I agree that the best thing is to just email (or otherwise communicate with) the teacher, explain the situation, and ask her to help you come up with a solution. My son's school has officially banned chapstick (at least in the primary grades) because kids (especially girls) were using it as pretend makeup and putting it on all the time, which really was disruptive. However, I know of a couple of kids for whom exceptions have been made because they're like your daughter. I can't imagine the school wants your daughter to injure her lips just so they can keep the letter of the law. If you approach the teacher respectfully, you can probably find a solution.

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#5 of 12 Old 03-20-2013, 01:03 PM
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another reason it gets banned is because kids share it and spread everything from the common cold to strep throat. nono.gif


(We allow it at the school I work at, but it is quickly confiscated and thrown away if shared.)

I agree about emailing the teacher, explaining the situation, and asking what would work. How many times a day does she need to use it? Could she keep it in the nurses office and pop in there at certain times -- such as after recess and after lunch? There has to be a solution that would work for all concerned.

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#6 of 12 Old 03-20-2013, 02:48 PM
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My son has a similar issue. We find increasing his fluids in the winter along with a humidifier and the heavy medicated lip balm and night makes a big difference. I remind him to put in on before school and when I pick him up. Seems to keep things under-control without needing to use it at school which is good because 12-year-old boys don't really like to do that.


Putting on chapstick every time she wants to lick her lips is probably the problem... that can be quite often when they are little. I'd send a note to school but perhaps also plan out good times for her to use it like at recess and after lunch. Maybe you could get her the necklace ones that might not be so disruptive on the times it really is needed in class.

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#7 of 12 Old 03-20-2013, 07:18 PM
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I suggest getting a medical note specifying how often she can use it and leaving it with the nurse. If she is having to use it more than two or three times during the day i suggest experimenting with brands. Some chapsticks make the problem worse. Burts Bees has several great types that she might like.
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#8 of 12 Old 03-20-2013, 07:48 PM
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Experimenting with brands is a good idea. Some chapsticks smell so good it's got to be hard to not lick it as soon as you put it on! I don't know what she's using but something more medical and less Bonnie Bell-ish. (I remember Bonnie Bell from when I was a kid and I loved that stuff. And I licked it like crazy!)

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#9 of 12 Old 04-02-2013, 04:35 PM
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ugh, i used to do that, too. it got really bad, where the rash would scab and crack open and bleed if i smiled. in fourth grade, my grandfather said he'd give me some amount of money if i stopped. so i did. i only ever lick my lips to this day if there is food on them. i wear chapstick at all times. dh thinks your lips can get addicted to wearing it lol


i would email and do whatever it took to allow my child to wear chapstick in school. after my experience, i would fight it LOL i know we're not supposed to be pushy parents in school, but i got horribly made fun of and it took years for me to stop being self-concious about my smile. good luck!

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#10 of 12 Old 04-04-2013, 08:51 AM
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If you can't get the chapstick approved try applying lanolin (like Lansinoh for breastfeeding moms) at home before school. I do that with my kids when they get really bad chapped lips. It doesn't lick off as easily and can really help heal lips. Applying it at night before bed often completely clears up the chapped-ness (not sure that's a word) by morning.

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#11 of 12 Old 04-05-2013, 07:43 AM
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We have this problem (to a lesser degree as the school doesn't allow chapstick but the teacher isn't focused on the issue).  Our solution is to give DD a sample tube of lanisoh that she keeps in her jacket pocket and puts one 1-2 times a day.  Lanisoh doesn't taste good so there's no motivation to keep licking and it is incredibly healing. 

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#12 of 12 Old 04-06-2013, 05:51 PM
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I have this problem too; it's part of my sensory issues. For everyone's reference, I use it about once an hour in normal situations, after I eat or drink anything, and after anything touches my lips. (During meals, I usually only have to use it once in the middle and once afterwards, not after every bite of food.) If I'm nervous, having a sensory overload, or have to talk a lot, it wears off faster and needs to be applied more frequently. So, having her only use it at recess, only use it in the nurse's office, only use it before and after school, etc, is not feasible. I keep lip balm, petroleum jelly, or a similar product within my reach pretty much at all times, and I'd consider it just plain cruel to keep it from this little girl.


Now, there's not really any good reason for the application of Chap Stick to be disruptive. So either this is the most control-freak teacher ever, or your daughter's making it more disruptive than necessary. For example, if she keeps the Chap Stick in her backpack, and backpacks are hung up on one side of the room, and she gets up from her desk every five minutes to use the Chap Stick, I can see the teacher getting annoyed with that. So I'd talk to the teacher to make sure nothing like that is happening. If your daughter isn't being disruptive but the teacher still says she is, start thinking of diplomatic ways to tell her stuff it.

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