(p. A11) The Sunbeatables curriculum, designed by specialists MD Anderson Cancer Center, features a cast of superheroes who teach children the basics of sun protection including the obvious: how and when to apply sunscreen.
There’s just one wrinkle. Many of the about 1,000 schools where the curriculum is taught are in states that don’t allow students to bring sunscreen to school or apply it without a note from a doctor or parent and trip to the nurse’s office.
Schools have restrictions because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration labels sunscreen as an over-the-counter medication.
. . .
Melanoma accounts for the majority of skin cancer-related deaths and is among the most common types of invasive cancers. One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence can double the risk of developing melanoma, says Dr. Tanzi. And sun damage is cumulative. The Skin Cancer Foundation notes that 23% of lifetime sun exposure occurs by age 18. Regular sunscreen application is a widespread recommendation among medical experts though some groups have raised concerns about the chemicals in certain sunscreens.
“Five or more sunburns increases your melanoma risk by 80% and your non-melanoma skin cancer risk by 68%,” Dr. Tanzi says.
Pediatric melanoma cases add up to a small but growing number. There are about 500 children diagnosed every year with the numbers increasing by about 2% each year, says Shelby Moneer, director of education for the Melanoma Research Foundation.
For the full story, see:
Sumathi Reddy. “YOUR HEALTH; It’s School, No Sunscreen Allowed.” The Wall Street Journal (Tues., May 16, 2017): A11.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date May 15, 2017, and has the title “YOUR HEALTH; Where Kids Aren’t Allowed to Put on Sunscreen: in School.”)