Pennsylvania Passes SUNucate, Allowing Sunscreen Use and Protective Clothing at School

Yesterday, Pennsylvania became the 17th state to allow children to possess and apply sunscreen at school, an important step in preventing skin cancer.

Governor Tom Wolf approved HB 1228, a piece of legislation based on ASDSA’s model bill known as SUNucate to remove barriers that prohibit students from bringing and applying over-the-counter sunscreen at school or during school-related activities. The legislation also ensures students may wear sun-protective clothing, including hats, while outdoors. Pennsylvania becomes the first state to recognize the importance of school children wearing clothing and hats to lessen sun exposure.

Unfortunately, over-the-counter sunscreen is often prohibited at schools because far reaching “medication bans” include sunscreen as an FDA regulated product. HB 1228 was introduced by State Representative Harold A. English and approved with unanimous consent in both chambers of the state legislature.

“Sunscreen and sun-protective clothing are the best tools we have available to reduce the risk of skin cancer,” said ASDSA President Murad Alam, MD, MBA. “If we are going to lower the rates of skin cancer, we need to continue to advance commonsense solutions like SUNucate that empower children to protect themselves from the harmful ultraviolet radiation of the sun.”

ASDSA developed SUNucate following reports from members and the national media about students needing a prescription or note from their physician in order to bring and apply sunscreen at school. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States Preventive Services Task Force both believe that children should have access to sunscreen and other sun-protective measures in order to reduce the risk of skin cancer, which can be deadly.

ASDSA worked with the Pennsylvania Academy of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery and its coalition partners to advocate for the passage of this law. To learn more about SUNucate, visit https://www.asds.net/SUNucate.

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