Campaign to change sunscreen ban at schools

June 29, 2012 8:51:10 AM PDT
When it comes to protecting his daughter, Isabella from the sun, Carlos is always prepared.

Like other parents spending the day outside on a hot summer day, coating their little ones with sunscreen is a must.

However, if they were to pack sunscreen in their child's backpack and simply send them school, they'd be breaking the rules that require kids to have a doctor's note if they want to bring it in.

"Sunscreen is over the counter, it's not something that's prescription so I don't know why the doctors needs to be involved at that point," said parent Aimee Sabo.

The State Education Department, who came up with this policy, tells Eyewitness News that that is precisely the problem.

The Department says that it is simply using the FDA's list of over the counter drugs. Sunscreen is considered just that, and therefore is not allowed to be used in a school setting without the okay from a physician.

This may soon change if Senator Michael Gianaris gets his way.

"Either way, they will do it or we will advance through legislation," said Gianaris.

This week, Gianaris is introducing legislation that would override the Department of Education's policy.

If a child wanted to bring sunscreen to school, they would only need a note from a parent, instead of a doctor.

"It makes no sense for our schools to be telling our kids not to use it," Gianaris added, "It's putting them in danger of risks of skin cancer and sun poisoning, and we've seen in other states how where children have suffered because of this rule."

Recently, girls had to be rushed to the hospital after spending hours in the blazing sun at a school outing. They live in Washington, another state like New York and many others with similar sunscreen bans.

Many parents who didn't even know that the policy existed called it ridiculous.

"I think that it is the biggest waste of time and money in the government to be even discussing it," said parent Carol Johnson.

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