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Is Applying Sunscreen in School Off-Limits? You May Be Surprised!

Does Illinois allow sunscreen in school? What is New Mexico’s policy for sunscreen in school? How about California?   Calling all parents and guardians: do you know your state’s regulations for bringing and applying sunscreen in school? Did you even know that there are regulations for sunscreens in school? Let’s jump into this!    Here’s the lowdown: 17 states have passed sunscreen legislation for schools. This means that kids can bring and reapply sunscreen in school without needing a physician’s note. We know what you’re thinking… WAIT WHAT? Same. BUT let us explain.   Sunscreen is regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) because it is an over-the-counter drug. The reason for this is because sunscreen has a “drug claim” stating that it helps prevent sunburn and skin cancer. So, what does this mean when it comes to our kiddos? Essentially if you are in one of the other 33 states, applying sunscreen in schools is not allowed unless your child has a physician’s note. You might be wondering “why do I have to worry about my kid wearing and reapplying sunscreen during school?” According to the CDC skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, with 20% of Americans having skin cancer by the time they are 70. Although it is the most common type of cancer, skin cancer is totally preventable! According to East Suburban Pediatrics half of the UV damage occurs during childhood and adolescence. This is important because unprotected sunlight exposure to children increases the risk of them getting skin cancer when they are older.    Even though a lot of states are moving forward to change sunscreen laws, what can we do in the meantime? We want our kids to play outside and enjoy the fresh air! First, try to teach your kids about sun protection and applying sunscreen while they are young, so they understand the importance of making it part of their daily routine! We recommend getting in the habit of applying sunscreen every day before school. Another common question is which SPF is best for kids? The American Academy of Dermatology suggests using a sunscreen that has a broad spectrum SPF of 30 or above. It is also important to look for a mineral sunscreen that is water resistant and has no harsh chemicals. Kids (and adults) love our Silky Foam SPF 30 because it makes putting on sunscreen FUN and its foamy texture makes it easy to not miss any spots. Not to mention, what kid is going to complain about playing with foam before school? 😊 Another easy way to implement sunscreen into your kid’s routine is by throwing sunscreen in your to-go bag for after school activities so you can reapply beforehand. Having your sunscreen conveniently with you at soccer practice or little league baseball makes it that much easier to remember to reapply!  If you have a baby (over 6 months) or young toddler, we have a great safe SPF for babies. COTZ Baby SPF 40 is specifically made to be gentle on babies’ skin. It is free of chemical sunscreens, preservatives, fragrances, parabens, gluten, and phthalates (not trying to flex too hard, but so are all our other sunscreens).  COTZ makes it easy to protect your little ones while being conscientious of regulations in your state. Here’s to another great school year!     Does your kid need a physician's note to apply sunscreen in school? : Find your state below to see your state’s regulations according to NCSL (National Conference of State Legislatures).   Is a physician’s note required in your state for sunscreen in school?    Yes  No  Alabama    X   Alaska   X    Arizona    X  Arkansas  X    California    X  Colorado  X    Connecticut  X    Delaware  X    Florida    X  Georgia   X    Hawaii  X    Idaho  X    Illinois    X  Indiana    X  Iowa  X    Kansas  X    Kentucky  X    Louisiana    X  Maine  X    Maryland    X  Massachusetts   X    Michigan    X  Minnesota  X    Mississippi  X    Missouri  X    Montana  X    Nebraska  X    Nevada X     New Hampshire  X    New Jersey  X    New Mexico  X    New York    X (must have note from parent)  North Carolina  X    North Dakota  X    Ohio    X  Oklahoma    X  Oregon    X  Pennsylvania    X (must have note from parent)  Rhode Island  X    South Carolina  X    South Dakota  X    Tennessee  X    Texas    X  Utah    X  Vermont  X    Virginia  X   Washington   X (sunscreen must be provided by the parent) West Virginia  X    Wisconsin  X    Wyoming  X