Last week I was ‘surfing the web’ and I came across many articles talking about the dangers of tanning, especially for teenagers under the age of 18. There are approximately 2.3 million teens that visit U.S. tanning beds–every year! and now new legislation may require teens to bring a doctor’s note and have a parent present in order to use indoor tanning.
I am totally with the ban on tanning salons for teenagers. Most people get 80% or more of their sun exposure by their 18th birthday. And one blistering sunburn or over exposure to tanning beds before the age of 18 increases a persons risk to develop melanoma as an adult. If this legislation is going to pass there must be more advocacy and education to urge teenagers to avoid tanning. Many agree that there is no such thing as a “safe” tan. Just like the Miss Florida story below, it will take teenagers talking to teenagers in order to persuade them to consider other alternatives to indoor tanning.
“Miss Florida Teen USA Kayla Collier was 15 when she first visited a tanning salon so the stage lights at a local pageant wouldn’t make her fair skin look ghostly white.
Later that year, as she tried on homecoming dresses, her mother noticed what looked like a scab on her back. It turned out to be skin cancer.
And though she can’t definitively link the tanning to the cancer, Collier, now 18 and healthy, won’t be back under the bulbs. (Source: News Day)”
Did you know that after only a few minutes of tanning that you could develop skin cancer? According to a study a quarter of teenagers ages 15-18 used indoor tanning last year. It is a really big step to take concerning the protection of our children against a very preventable disease. Here is a run-down of what some of the 17 states are doing;
“Florida already requires parental approval before minors can use tanning salons. If the new law passes, it would be among the strictest in the nation. Only one state, Wisconsin, bans teens 16 and under from using tanning beds, though a handful of others — California, New York and New Jersey among them — ban the under-14 crowd. At least 29 states have some regulations governing tanning by minors.
I want to know what you think this legislation to ban teenagers from tanning? Do you allow your teenager to tan?
I know that for sure I will not let my daughter’s tan at any age. I will always advocate for them to use an alternative to an indoor tanning salon. I’m sure they won’t really need to tan since they are bi-racial and have a brown complexion anyway. The one I really worry about is my husband. No matter what he loves to go tanning and even says it makes him happy. Whenever I give him a back rub I check his back for any abnormal moles. Early detection is key when dealing with skin cancer, but also just being smart about uv protection.