Nevada has become the 21st state to allow students to possess and use sunscreen in school. The law, signed by Governor Steve Sisolak, also enables children to wear protective clothing and allows schools to teach students sun-safe behaviors. This ensures children are protected from overexposure to the sun, thus preventing skin cancer.
The law is based on the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association’s (ASDSA) SUNucate model legislation, which was designed to eliminate barriers prohibiting students from possessing and using over-the-counter sunscreen in schools and camps by exempting these products from broad reaching medication bans.
“Research indicates that one in five children will eventually be diagnosed with skin cancer. Therefore, it is critical that sun-safe behaviors are taught as early as possible,” said ASDSA President Murad Alam, MD. “SUNucate encourages and enables children to protect themselves at school, school-sponsored activities, and camps.”
“The SUNucate initiative aligns with the newly created Nevada Society for Dermatology and Dermatologic Society (NSDDS) mission and its dedication to public education efforts on behalf of dermatologists, dermatologic surgeons, and their patients,” said NSDDS President and Founding Member, Whitney Hovenic, MD. “We are pleased to be part of this important effort in Nevada.”
Dermatologic surgeons and national media alerted ASDSA that many children could not use sunscreen while outside unless they have a doctor’s note or prescription. Although the United States Food and Drug Administration classifies sunscreen as an over-the-counter medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States Preventive Services Task Force both believe that children should have access to sunscreen and other sun-protective measures in order to reduce the risk of skin cancer.