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US States Move to Allow Children to Use Sunscreen at School Without a Doctor’s Note

It may surprise you that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers sunscreen an over-the-counter drug similar to aspirin, but it’s true. And because the nation is on an all-out crusade to keep children’s bodies from ever feeling the touch of a sun ray , some lawmakers have decided it’s time to legislate sunscreen into the schools. According to The Star, students currently can’t just bring their own sunscreen and apply it; they need a doctor’s note. Legislation would override that requirement.

While health officials cite rising rates of melanoma skin cancers as the reason behind the sunscreen campaigns, they fail to acknowledge that some many sunscreen products can have just the opposite effect, as they filter only UVB and not the more dangerous UVA. Some sunscreens also use chemicals that may increase your risk of skin cancer and may contain hormone disrupters.

While sensible sun exposure is necessary for optimal health, I agree that overexposure can result in skin damage that could raise your risk of skin cancer. The key is to get enough to optimize your vitamin D production, but not so much that you get sunburned. So, once you’ve done that, yes, you need to either cover up or protect yourself from burning. Your best sun protection comes from hats, sunglasses, clothing, zinc oxide and astaxanthin.

To help decide which are the safest sunscreens, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) ranks sunscreens based on safety and effectiveness. To that end, I’m proud that the Mercola brand SPF 50 sunscreen tops the 2017 list of safe and effective sunscreens and was featured in Time magazine. If you're using sunscreen to avoid overexposure, it's also important to use it correctly. As a general rule, stick with an SPF between 30 and 50. The additional protection you get from products with SPF ratings above 50 tend to be negligible, providing you with a false sense of security. If you think you're protected when you're really not, you may stay in the sun far too long and end up with a nasty sunburn.
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