News & Press

Virginia Removes Barriers for Students to Access Sunscreen in Schools

Tuesday, April 14 ,2020 – Last week, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed Senate Bill 44 to permit public school students to be able to possess and use sunscreen on school buses, school property and at school-sponsored events without requiring written authorization. Virginia is the 25th state to incorporate policies from “SUNucate” model legislation developed by the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery Association (ASDSA) that addresses barriers to sunscreen use and promotes sun-safe behavior. Sunscreens are regulated as over-the-counter drugs under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, making them subject to “medication bans” in schools across the country. Under these policies, students are required to have a note or prescription from a doctor in order to have and use sunscreen while at school. Encouraging sun safe habits in childhood is a high priority for MRF advocates as bad sunburns in childhood heighten the lifetime risk of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. While encouraging sun safety in daily routines is important, it is equally as important to explain why sun protection is needed. To learn more, check out the MRF’s Parent Guide to Prevention.