LANSING — State Rep. Kevin Hertel’s (D-St. Clair Shores) bill allowing students to bring sunscreen and other FDA-approved topicals to school and use them during school activities was signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder. The legislation, House Bill 5379, will now be Public Act 243 of 2018, and had the support of many, including Madison Horton, a young woman who has battled with a rare form of skin cancer and testified on the bill during its hearing in the House Committee on Education Reform.

“There’s no reason why students shouldn’t be able to protect themselves from the sun’s harmful rays when they are on the playground or when participating in other school events or sports,” said Hertel. “I’m grateful to see this bill pass, but more importantly grateful for the help and support of Madison, who saw a need within our state that she knew she could address. Her willingness to get involved has helped make our laws better for all students as well as those dealing with similar health issues.”

The new law allows students to bring sunscreen with them to school and apply it so they can protect themselves while they are engaged in outdoor activities. It ensures that children are protected by allowing minor students to bring to school and use FDA approved, over-the-counter topical substances if they have the permission of their parent or legal guardian, and as long as the principal or chief administrative officer of the school has a copy of the written approval. This means that students could bring and use sunscreen, antimicrobial or antifungal products, external analgesics, psoriasis or topical eczema treatments, or any other topical product with a therapeutic effect. The law also protects schools and school officials from liability.

“Like all parents, I am very conscious of protecting my young son when he’s outdoors, and now parents will know that our kids will also be protected when they are school,” said Hertel. “We all know that too much exposure to the sun can lead to serious, and even deadly, health issues. Now we have a law that allows us to do the responsible thing and send our kids to school with sunscreen so they can enjoy outdoor events without risking short or long term consequences.”