News & Press

Connecticut Passes Sunscreen in Schools Bill

July 13, 2019 – Both houses of the Connecticut state legislature have passed a bill permitting students to bring and apply sunscreen while at school, and the legislation now only needs the governor’s signature to become law. Public Act 19-60 allows any student 6-years-old or older to self-apply over the counter sunscreen while in school prior to outdoor activities. The bill requires a student’s parent or guardian to provide written authorization to the school nurse and requires school boards to adopt policies addressing the self-application of sunscreen.

Encouraging sun safe habits early in life is a high priority of MRF advocates. One bad sunburn in childhood doubles the lifetime risk of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Parents and guardians play an important role in modeling sun safety by making sure they wear sunscreen, protective clothing, hats and sunglasses on a regular basis. In addition to encouraging sun safety in daily routines, children should understand why sun protection is important. By understanding the importance of comprehensive sun safety from an early age, they will be more likely to remember things like sunscreen while they’re at school without a parent there to remind them.

To ensure your children have all-day protection, have them apply their first layer of sunscreen at home and send them to school with a hat and sunglasses. Additional sunscreen can be packed in their bag, or even included with their lunch box as an timely reminder to reapply before going out for recess. To learn more, check out the MRF’s Parent’s Guide to Prevention.

The MRF commends Connecticut lawmakers for this important measure to protect children and teens from the life-long dangers of sun damage. Visit the Advocacy Action Center to track similar bills across the US, and encourage your lawmakers to support similar legislation in your state. For more information on how to get involved, email advocacy@melanoma.org.