Local News

N.C. Lawmakers Want To Get Sunscreen On Kids At School

Posted May 15, 2003

— Most kids are not allowed to apply sunscreen while at school, but state lawmakers want to change that.

Parents often cover their kids with sunblock during a day at the beach, but the sun's rays can also do damage during short stints outdoors -- like recess or afterschool activities.

"Especially in the middle of the day when the sun's intensity is greatest. It doesn't take long to get a sunburn and once the skin is burned, the risk of damage is greater," said Dr. John Rushing.

However, many schools do not allow students to use sunscreen because some kids are allergic to the ingredients. A bill moving through the state Legislature would allow students to bring sunblock to school, so they can stay protected any time they are outdoors.

"I think that would be a great idea because I do think when they're out in the sun, they can easily get burned even in 15 or 20 minutes," parent Harriett Tharrington said.

If the bill passes, local school boards could create their own policies about bringing to school, and parents who want their kids to play it safe outside could drop some sunblock in their backpacks.

"It's obviously good for their skin to protect them and they're out in the sun so much. I'd rather them be able to play and not have to worry so much. Just let them go out there and have fun," parent Jim Melton said.

The law is sponsored by a senator who is also a pediatrician. It has already passed the Senate and is now in a House committee.


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