Nonprofit offers sunscreen dispensers to Tampa

Sunscreen dispensers at parks

Tampa, FL -- A recent study from WalletHub found St. Petersburg is one of the worst spots in the nation when it comes to the risk of skin cancer. The study cited relatively few dermatologists and skin cancer specialists per capita.

Tampa scored better, but the news still isn’t great.

Now, there’s something that might really make a difference.

A charitable organization has offered to donate several sunscreen dispensers to the City of Tampa, for free.

The small kiosks operate just like hand sanitizer dispensers, but squirt out SPF 30 sunscreen instead.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Kelli, a South Tampa mom visiting a park in Ballast Point with her 5-year-old daughter.

Becky Olszewski, a mother of twin 5-year-old boys agreed. “I have forgotten sunscreen, and they would be red, and I feel horrible. ... And so it would just solve that problem, totally.”

Laurie Seavey heads the nonprofit organization offering to donate the dispensers, called Make Big Change. The organization, based in New Hampshire, is dedicated to fighting skin cancer.

On Thursday morning, Seavey pitched the idea of donating the dispensers to Tampa's City Council. 

“Make SPF your BFF,” she urged them, noting, “The incidence of skin cancer among Americans has tripled in the last 30 years.”

Councilman Harry Cohen says the panel thought it was “A really neat idea.”

The city would still have to pay for sunscreen lotion, but that could be offset by selling ad space on the dispensers.

“And this is a way that we can help people protect themselves, protect your health, protect their children's health and encourage people to still be outside,” said Cohen.

The dispensers are already in parks of 20 cities and more than 50 city ball fields, water parks and other outdoor areas.

Click here to see more about the Global Sunblock Initiative

If the City Council passes it, Tampa would become the first city in Florida to install them in its parks.

They've asked staff workers for a recommendation by July to get it into the coming year’s budget. If the idea passes, you can look for them as early as October.


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