Rep. McDermed Moves to Allow the ‘Right to Sunscreen’

Springfield, IL… State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) has introduced a bill to make sunscreen more widely available to students in Illinois. Sunscreen is considered an over the counter drug by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and many school policies require physician authorization for students to be given such medications.  

“It is pretty straightforward; if a student wants to put on sunscreen, they should be able to,” Rep. McDermed said. “Unfortunately, red tape at schools can prevent this. Given the dangers of skin cancer, it is common sense to loosen these restrictions.”  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Evidence shows that sunburns during childhood or adolescence can nearly double a person’s chance of developing melanoma. The CDC advises applying sunscreen every time a child goes outside.  

“Students shouldn’t need a doctor’s note to put on sunscreen. Our children spend most of their time at school and these kinds of policies put them unnecessarily at risk of dangerous sun exposure,” Rep. McDermed continued.    

House Bill 4216 requires a public school to permit a student, without the authorization of the student’s parent or legal guardian or a physician, to possess or self-apply sunscreen. The bill has been introduced and is awaiting assignment to a committee.