In January legislation was signed into law making Illinois the 18th state to allow children to possess and apply sunscreen at school, an important step in preventing skin cancer.
The legislation known as SUNucate was introduced by Representative John Connor and carried through the Senate by Senator Tom Cullerton. It is designed to eliminate barriers that prohibit students from possessing and using over-the-counter sunscreen in school. Sunscreen often falls under broad reaching “medication bans” that require a physician’s note or prescription to utilize in school. Illinois is only the second state to allow students to wear sun-safe clothing, including hats, and the first to encourage sun-safe behavior in school curricula.
“I am proud of my home state of Illinois for taking this great step in bringing awareness to skin cancer and ensuring that from a young age students know applying sunscreen while outdoors is key to combating this epidemic. Allowing children to use sun-protective clothing provides an additional layer of prevention, and teaching kids about how best to protect themselves from the sun will have a lifelong, positive influence,” said American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association (ASDSA) President Murad Alam, MD, MBA. “If we are serious about lowering the incidence of skin cancer, then SUNucate is a common-sense, budget-neutral way for states and schools to become involved.”
ASDSA worked with the Illinois Dermatological Society, Pediatric Sun Protection Foundation, Illinois State Medical Society and other coalition partners to advocate for the passage of this law. To learn more about SUNucate, visit https://www.asds.net/SUNucate.