TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner which would require school boards to adopt policies concerning students’ use of sunscreen and sun-protective clothing at school and school-sponsored events cleared the Senate Education Committee today.
“While children are under the watchful eyes of their parents, they may be getting sunscreen protection from cancer-causing ultra violet rays,” said Senator Turner (D-Hunterdon/Mercer). “However, there is gap in protection while children are at school and outside for gym, recess, and school sporting and recreational events. We want our children to enjoy being outdoors, but we want them to be safe about it.”
The bill, S-1803, requires school boards to adopt policies concerning students’ use of sunscreen and sun-protective clothing, such as hats and sunglasses, at school and school-sponsored functions. Policies would not require a doctor’s note for a student to possess or use sunscreen or sun-protective clothing at school. The policy must be in place by the 2019-2020 school year.
“Incidence of skin cancer is on the rise, and we need to ensure that our children are protected from getting sunburnt, which can significantly increase their risk of developing melanoma in adulthood,” said Senator Turner. “This is a case where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
The bill cleared committee by a vote of 5-0, and next heads to the full Senate for further consideration.