SALT LAKE CITY — Rep. Craig Hall, R-West Valley City, is hoping to reduce the risks of skin cancer by allow students to bring sunscreen to school.
"I know everyone's first reaction to this bill is probably, 'What? Seriously? We have to have a bill to let kids bring sunscreen to school?'" Hall said.
Under current Utah law, students are prohibited from taking to school any medication — even over-the-counter items — unless they have a doctor's note and parental permission. The same restriction applies to sunscreen, which is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and is classified as an over-the-counter product.
HB288 aims to circumvent the issue by permitting students to bring sunscreen to school without a doctor's note. The House Political Subdivisions Committee unanimously voted Monday to send the bill to the full House with a favorable recommendation.
Oregon, California and Texas have laws in place to allow sunscreen use at schools, and similar measures are being considered in Washington, Massachusetts and Arizona, Hall said.
"Skin cancer is the fastest-growing form of cancer, and experts note that much of the damage is generally based on a lack of adequate protection in the early years of life," he said.
HB288 also would allow school employees to help students apply sunscreen, with parental notification and consent. The measure also exempts the school employee from liability in the event the student has a negative reaction to the sunscreen.