Legislative review and recommendations for improving sun protection in schools

Timothy Freeman, Lisa M. Morris, Basia M. Michalski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Sun exposure in schools can account for a large portion of childhood sun exposure before the age of 20 years, yet legislation in the United States is lacking to properly protect children. Schools serve as a foundational resource to introduce and implement sun-safe practices in the youth population. Methods: Federal and state legislation relating to the access of sunscreen, sun-protective apparel, and shade was reviewed via the website LegiScan.com. Results: At the time of publication, only 25 states have legislation in place that addresses and allows sunscreen to be used in school, given its classification as an over-the-counter medication. No state has implemented legislation allowing sunglasses to be worn in school, and only two states have laws explicitly allowing hats and other sun-protective apparel at schools. In addition, the provision of shade is addressed in four states. Conclusions: With a significant portion of sun exposure occurring at schools, state and federal legislation must address sun protection for students, opening the door for expanded access and additional research related to skin cancer prevention.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatric Dermatology
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • legislation
  • primary prevention
  • schools
  • skin cancer
  • sun-safety


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