A school district in North Carolina is requiring their students to fill out a medical form to use lip balm.
With the extreme cold that’s been hitting the East Coast for over a week, dry, chapped lips are becoming a problem we’re all familiar with. Most of us would reach for a hand stick of lip balm to solve the problem, but kids in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools district don’t have that option unless their mom or dad takes them to the doctor to fill out a form.
One mom in Charlotte found out the hard way after his lip balm was confiscated. "My child's lip moisturizer was considered a medication, and [they said] that I would need to complete a form," she said to local news, an explanation she received from the boy’s teacher via email.
"His entire mouth is red, just raw from him licking his lips all day," she added.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools district required that any medication being taken on school property have a medical authorization form signed by a doctor, as well as completing a medical questionnaire advising the district on how often the medication will be taken.
The Nurse Supervisor for the school district informed the angry mom that chapstick has medicinal ingredients, and even though it’s commonly available it would still require a medical authorization form to be completed.
Holly Smith, a pediatrician within the school district, says the whole thing is a waste of time. "It takes time out of our day of taking care of patients to have to stop and fill out a form,” Smith says. She also notes that “some practices will charge for various forms to be completed."
Smith did provide some insight as to why the head-honchos at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools would think that lip balm would need to get a doctor’s Hancock before their students could start using it. "These over-the-counter products get classified as over-the-counter medications in the school's mind," she said.
The only problem is that chapped lips are a symptom of the weather, not a disease or medical condition. "And it doesn't really require a doctor to make the diagnosis."