Sunscreen at school: Md. bill proposes ditching doctor’s-note requirement

Annapolis, Md. — State Sen. Ronald Young wants kids at every Maryland public school to be able to use sunscreen without needing a note from a doctor.

So he has introduced a bill to have each school district come up with a written policy allowing children to have sunscreen at school and school-sponsored events.

Currently, school boards across the state have differing policies on the use of sunscreen. Some treat it like an over-the-counter medication, and there are differences as to who can be authorized to help a child apply sunscreen — either a nurse or other staff member.

The bill also “encourages” school systems to educate children on “sun safety.”

Young introduced his bill to the Senate Health and Environmental Affairs Committee just days before Gov. Larry Hogan revealed that he was being treated for the less-serious skin cancers: basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma.

At Hogan’s news conference, the governor explained that as a young man he never used sunscreen — despite working as a lifeguard in Florida. He took the opportunity to urge everyone to use sunscreen and mentioned he’d be throwing his support to Young’s bill, calling the requirement of a permission slip for sunscreen at schools “just crazy.”

Young, too, has a personal interest in skin cancer prevention: During testimony in Annapolis this week, he explained that his own nephew had died at age 27 after being diagnosed with melanoma.

“Melanoma’s a deadly disease, and children deserve to be protected,” Young told the panel.

Virginia’s House of Delegates passed a similar bill this week.

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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