Brimly Hats, pictured at the top here, are also pretty cute and functional for sun protection.
When you send your children off to school, you hope teachers and faculty will do their best to keep them safe from harm. This is why Amy Pellot, our Manager of Education & Training, thought the repetitive return of her children's sunscreen had to be a mistake.
“I continued to send my five-year-old daughter and three-year-old son to school with their small tube of sunscreen, and it continued to be returned to me”, Amy said. “My children have been taught how to properly apply sunscreen before going out to recess. They apply it with me everyday before school, but they know sunscreen only last about 2-3 hours – it needs to be reapplied.”
When Amy Pellot went into her children's school to ask why their sunscreen has been returned, she was shocked by the answer.
“They told me because sunscreen is technically an over-the-counter drug, it was simply not allowed in school,” Amy said.
It’s true – as of 2017, only California, Texas, and Oregon allow sunscreen in public schools. For the 47 other states, children must bring a doctor's note, as they would need to do for any other over-the-counter medication.
“[The school] was worried my children might share their sunscreen, and other students could get it in their eyes.”
Pellot was dumbfounded. “My career and passion is skincare education,” she told us. “Not only was I worried that my children were being exposed to UVA and UVB rays without protection, but I was concerned that the teachers were not properly equipped with the right tools and education.”
Pellot took it upon herself to challenge the school board and was granted the right to send her children to school with sunscreen – as long as other parents and children got a Skincare 101 class.
“I went to the school and did a class for the parents on how to teach their children to apply sunscreen to themselves, and how teachers can monitor this without having to come into contact with the children,” Amy said. “I sent home sheets with all of my sunscreen fun facts. I remember telling the parents, if you have any questions, please call me! I literally talk about skin all day, everyday.”
While Pellot was thrilled to be educating willing and interested parents, she was surprised that the majority had not taught their children how to apply sunscreen for themselves. “We teach our children how to brush their teeth and tie their shoes – why are we not teaching them how to apply sunscreen?” asked Amy. “This is a practice they should be doing everyday. I don’t blame the parents – we just live in a culture that has never put skin safety first.”
Holly Thaggard, creator of one of our favorite sunscreen brands, Supergoop!, agrees. “One of the main reasons I joined the sunscreen business and created Supergoop! was because a close friend passed away from skin cancer,” she shared. “Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, yet we often only lather up when we have a big day at the beach planned.” While Holly has fulfilled her mission to provide quality broad spectrum sunscreen products that smell and feel good, she’s about to achieve a dream she’s had before the brand began.
“After seven years of building Supergoop!, we can now provide Everyday Sunscreen for public school classrooms, so children can apply before recess, she told us. “Schools seem to always have big bottles of hand sanitizer, but for some reason there isn’t sunscreen. We’d like to change that.” Supergoop!’s awareness and education platform, Project Black Dot, also provides a Permission Slip that parents can download and print. These slips are meant for their children to give to teachers if they’re questioned about their sunscreen usage.
Holly’s criteria for getting Supergoop! into your children's schools is simple: be an educated advocate. “We’re open to sending Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen to any public school,” Holly said. “But when parents reach out, we ask that they use the written resources we send and share them with the students, parents, and teachers. Perhaps they schedule an after-school meeting with parents or coordinate with a teacher to do so. It’s important that parents take time to teach their children the proper ways to apply sunscreen. We’re not asking for anything but passing this education along.”
If you'd like to get Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen in your children's schools, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org