State Ed Department Agrees to Change Sunscreen Rule in Schools

6:15 PM, Aug 18, 2012   |    comments
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BUFFALO, NY - The New York State Education has agreed to allow students to use sunscreen in school without a doctor's note.

A prior regulation prevented students in New York State schools from using sunscreen in school unless they obtained a note from a doctor. The Education Department has since changed the rule, permitting the use of FDA-approved sunscreen in the schools with a parent's note.

WEB EXTRA: Read the State Education Department's updated information regarding sunscreen here

The flap started at the end of the school year when two children in Washington State were not allowed to use sunscreen on a school field trip, and ended up with severe sunburns. The story created a debate about whether or not kids should be allowed to use sunscreen in schools since sunscreen is classified as an over-the-counter drug.  

2 On Your Side's Maryalice Demler also gave her 2 cents on the issue.

New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan wrote to State Education Department Commissioner John B. King, asking him to change the rule to allow a note from a parent as the only requirement needed for a student to use sunscreen in school.

"There is no reason that sunscreen, something we use to prevent exposure to the sun, shouldn't be treated like any other over-the-counter drug," said Ryan. "Kids should not have to take a break from protecting themselves from the sun while they are at school. Whether playing at recess on the playground, participating in sports outside, or on a school field trip, children going to school should be able to use sunscreen with just a simple note from their parents, and should not be required to take the added step of getting a doctor's permission. If a parent says their child can use sunscreen that should be adequate permission for a school. I am pleased that the State Education Department has agreed to my request and put a more common sense regulation in place which will provide easier access to sunscreen for students."

The State Education Department says schools can create their own sunscreen-use policy.

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