By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Monday, May 29, 2017, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association (ASDSA) applauded Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s (R) signing of Legislation ensuring that children are protected from dangerous sun exposure at school and camp.
Alabama is the fourth State to pass this law in 2017.
The law, deemed SUNucate, eliminates barriers prohibiting students from possessing and using over-the-counter sunscreen by exempting these products from requirements implemented by broad reaching ”medication bans,” such as the need for a physician’s note or prescription.
The ASDSA thanked State Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville) and State Representative Ron Johnson (R-Talladega) sponsored the Legislation, Senate Bill 63 and House Bill 147 for their leadership on the issue. They also thanked both the Legislature and Governor Ivey for their support of the efforts to help protect children from skin cancer.
ASDSA President Thomas E. Rohrer MD said, “Creating a culture of sun-safe behavior in our youth is a real part of how we can reduce the risk of skin cancer. As dermatologic surgeons, we must help the public understand the real risks of excessive sun exposure and how to mitigate them.”
ASDSA State Affairs Chair Terrence Cronin, Jr., MD said, “This is a great news for Alabamans and their children. Increasing access to sunscreen in schools is an important step in the uphill battle against skin cancer. We hope that our youth will also be allowed to wear sun-protective clothing, including hats, while outdoors and to also be educated on why being in the sun without adequate protection can be dangerous.”
State Senator McClendon told The Alabama Political Reporter that, “Sunscreen was accidentally caught up in a law that prevented school children from possessing over the counter drugs. A new law was needed to correct the unintended consequences of the old law.”
Teachers and school systems had been requiring that students bring a prescription from a doctor and often children’s sun screens were taken from them and only the school nurse or teacher could possess the skin protection products because of concerns that they violated the school’s medication policy.
ASDSA worked with multiple medical/health care organizations, patient groups and industry partners – such as the American Medical Association, members of the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention and the Personal Care Products Council to show State Legislators the need for this measure which will protect school-aged children.
The ASDSA said in the statement that encouraging states to allow for the regular and routine use of sunscreen at schools without a prescription is key to reducing skin cancer in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 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.
To find more information on SUNucate visit asdsa.asds.net/SUNucate.