Wednesday, March 30, 2005

American Cancer Society wants to stop MCPS from denying sunscreen to kids

The American Cancer Society is promoting legislation in Annapolis that would overturn Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) policy of denying children the right to carry sunscreen.

Present MCPS rules make it hard for children to protect themselves from the sun's ultraviolet rays at recess. The MCPS forces parents to get a letter from a physician before their kids can bring sunscreen to school.

Even then, the rules impose other obstacles that discourage or even prevent children from protecting their faces, arms and hands from UV, even with a doctor's letter. Trained health professionals must apply the sunscreen.

The Coalition for Skin Cancer Prevention in Maryland is leading the fight on behalf of the kids. "Children should be able to bring sunscreen with them like they bring ChapStick," Roberta Herbst, the coalition's project director, told the Washington Post.

The American Cancer Society has asked Delegate Anne Healey (D-Prince George's County) to introduce legislation that would overturn MCPS rules and similar barriers to childrens' health in other jurisdictions in the state.