Mum who had skin cancer hits out at school for putting on outdoor activities in heatwave

Robert Blake Science College
A mum has criticised Robert Blake Science College in Bridgwater. Credit: Google Maps

A mum who was previously diagnosed with skin cancer has hit out at her children's school for putting on outdoor activities on one of the hottest days of the year.

Ruth Hudson, 41, said it was the "wrong day, wrong temperature" for Robert Blake Science College in Bridgwater, Somerset, to hold the rewards day for its top 100 pupils.

Activities included bouncy castles, zorb balls and barbecues on Monday (18 July).

She said she had worked a partial day in case her children needed to go home because she expected her daughters to come back with headaches, heat exhaustion and nosebleeds - which they are prone to in this weather.

Ms Hudson says the school said children would only be allowed on the bouncy castles for three minutes at a time - but she was still concerned about the possibility of pupils doing "excessive exercise" and risking injury.

An email had been sent to parents stating children must bring hats, sunscreen and PE kits, which Ms Hudson thought was not enough to safely protect the children from prolonged UV exposure in sunlight - the main cause of skin cancer.

Ms Hudson, who works in community care, says she was diagnosed with skin cancer 10 years ago.

"I'm an ex-skin cancer patient myself. I've told them to be extra careful but with kids being kids they won't want to listen to mum," she said.

"With myself, the mole that was found to be cancerous wasn't even on skin that had been exposed. I know it's uncommon in kids, but the fact is it can develop much later on in life as the damage is already done."

She added: "I don't know why they couldn't just put it off for a couple of days. I know a lot of parents who have chosen to keep their kids out of school, but I didn't want to take mine out and risk legal action or have a mark against them for attendance."

On Monday, the school's headteacher Deb Loveridge said: "Those students involved in the activities [on Monday] have had an option of indoor or outdoor activities.

"Sessions are no more than one hour per year group and any inflatable sessions are monitored with a limit to three minutes. Staff will be constantly monitoring students' well-being.

"Plenty of water and shade will be provided for the students."

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