Free sunscreen dispensers popping up in NY, Vt. parks

Published: Jul. 20, 2018 at 5:18 PM EDT
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When the sun comes out, where does your mind go?

"Ride my dirt bike and go to the skate park-- those are my favorite things to do," said Jonathan Santy of Plattsburgh.

"Go swimming and play football with my brothers and stuff," said Keaton Watson of Plattsburgh.

The mind travels right to having fun in the sun. But is SPF your BFF?

"That's what my mom is always nagging me about," Santy said.

As your mom should. The Clinton County Health Department took it into their own hands to make sure communities are thinking about sunscreen.

"It's pretty cool that the county is helping us protect our skin from skin cancer," Watson said.

"I think with the dispenser, as well, they kind of serve as the reminder for people. So even if people aren't using the sunscreen in the dispensers, just kind of reminds them that it's there and even if they're bringing their own bottle that they're using sunscreen and protecting themselves," said Jennifer Trudeau of the Clinton County Health Department.

Fifteen free sunblock dispensers are now a part of seven communities across Clinton County.

"We looked to local parks and playgrounds, trails, local beaches were some of the areas that we chose to place them," Trudeau said.

With just a simple hand motion, they dispense SPF 30. The health department suggests you reapply every two hours.

A grant from Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield paid for the dispensers.

"When we were partnering with the communities where we actually placed the sunscreen dispensers, they will actually take ownership and responsibility for those when the grant money runs out," Trudeau said.

So the next time you go to have some fun in the sun and forget your sunblock, no need to worry.

"Now we don't need to bring it anymore because it's free," Santy said.

The health department says other communities are reaching out to get the free sunscreen dispensers, too. Eleven Vermont State Parks also have free sunscreen dispensers.