It takes just five sunburns over a lifetime to double one's risk of getting melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, according to the website, skincancer.org. With it's temperate year-round climate, Cape Cod children spend plenty of time outdoors. Yet the use of sunscreen without a prescription in schools is illegal in Massachusetts.
Julian Cyr represents Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket in the Massachusetts State Senate and he has a proposed Bill to correct that.
Cyr wants to add a section to Chapter 71 of the Massachusetts General Laws to allow suncreen use on school property without a doctor's consent. It's true that the majority of a school day is spent in the classroom, but during recess, field trips, outdoor gym time and after-school sports, children are exposed to ultra-violet light and their skin needs protection.
Cyr's Bill would add a new section to Chapter 71:
Section 98. Any person, including but not limited to students, parents or school personnel may possess and use a topical sunscreen product without a physician’s note or prescription while on school property or at a school-related event or activity to avoid overexposure to the sun if the product is regulated by the Federal Food and Drug Administration for over-the-counter use.
For the purposes of this Section only, sunscreen is not an over-the-counter medication. Nothing in this section requires school personnel to assist pupils in applying sunscreen.
The school district may encourage school sites to educate pupils on sun safety precautions.
To read Chapter 71 in its entirety, click here. And to read Senator Cyr's proposed Bill, go here.