Written on August 26, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
While you’re stocking up on back-to-school basics for your little ones, make sure to pick up a very important, yet easily forgotten essential—sunscreen. We know, you’re sending your kids to school, not to the beach, but children actually spend a great deal of time exposed to the sun walking to and from school, outside at recess, during after-school sports and on field trips. And considering that the new FDA regulations state that sunscreen remains effective for 80 minutes max, the stuff you slather on your kids in the morning will most likely wear off by lunchtime.
But before you pop some SPF in your child’s book-bag, consider this: Only two state policies exist that allow for sunscreen use and application during the school day (crazy, right?). In fact, a school ban on sunscreen (it’s technically considered a drug) left two children from Tacoma, WA with severe sunburns during a school field trip last year. One year later, policies affecting sunscreen usage in schools remain nonexistent or vary from state to state and potentially even within school districts. The worst part: new data shows melanoma rates are rising among U.S. children.
Luckily, two savvy sun-care brands are trying to change that:
Coppertone has launched their Making the Sunscreen Grade program, which educates parents with tools and information on how to help protect their children from the sun and enables them to start a conversation with their schools to make sun protection a priority during the school day. You can find more info here as well as download the full Making the Grade sunscreen guide.
Supergoop! has implemented Project Backpack, which not only serves as a vehicle to influence change in these state policies, but also provides SPF to schools in the U.S. so that kids have what they need to protect their skin during time on the playground or athletics. For every SPF 30 Everyday UV lotion ($15, supergoop.com) sold, Supergoop! will donate one backpack-sized sunscreen to partner schools in the U.S. Click here for more info.