In 2016, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association launched SUNucate in response to reports of schools prohibiting students from possessing sunscreen due to its classification as an over-the-counter medication. SUNucate is a public health initiative designed to spread awareness of the importance of sun-protective behaviors and remove barriers that prohibit access to important sun-protective measures, such as sunscreen and sun-protective clothing.
Serving as the centerpiece of this initiative is the SUNucate model legislation. This model bill is aimed at ensuring that children attending schools and camps have access to sunscreen and sun-protective clothing, including hats.
Schools nationwide have implemented well-intended policy which requires a note or prescription from a physician for any over-the-counter (OTC) drugs that a student may need throughout the school day. Unfortunately, as the FDA regulates sunscreen as an OTC drug, many students have been forced to either obtain a note from a physician or to forego utilizing sunscreen completely while at school or school-related activities.
So far, 24 states (AL, AR, AZ, CA*, CO, CT, FL, IN, IL, LA, MD, ME, MI, MN, NE, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR*, PA, TX*, UT and WA) have adopted SUNucate protections. The SUNucate model legislation is based on the states with asterisks. Additionally, 60 medical associations, patient organizations and industry partners have signed on in support of these efforts.
Please contact us if you are looking for more information about how to support these efforts.