Tanning Salons and Kids
Suntanned skin is certainly the rage again for many of the younger generation.Younger generation being anyone between the ages of 15 and 39. There was a time when a suntan could only be acquired outdoors either at the beach or tanning in the backyard. And unless you lived somewhere on an island or in the southern most regions you could only get that dark bronzed tan in the summertime.But thanks to modern technology you can now go to a tanning salon any day, any month, anytime. You walk in with a fair natural complexion and with a few sessions in the tanning bed you look like one of the tv stars of “jersey shore.”You know who i mean…..i think a few of them also have their own indoor tanning products now. Not that i think they look bad because they don’t ..they do look good…real good… and some of our younger population want to look like they do…and they really believe that having that tan will make everything work right in their lives and if they look like that celebrity they may feel like that celebrity.We know how impressionable teens are….especially the younger teens ages 15-18.Do they really have all the facts on indoor tanning? Do they really have the maturity or the wisdom to make an informed decision about this? Do they really care what the consequences may be years from now? To a young teenager that is a lifetime away and they are concerned with only today.
Young People who Tan are at Greater Risk to Develop Melanoma
Did you know that people who begin tanning before the age of 30 are a much higher risk of developing melanoma which is the deadliest form of skin cancer. And the UV (ultraviolet rays) from the tanning beds also advance premature aging and wrinkling of the skin as well as eye damage.Tanning beds actually produce the UVB rays which actually cause more long-term damage than the UVA rays that cause us to sunburn.Skin cancer is presently of epidemic proportions and is the leading cause of cancer deaths for young women. But try telling these facts to a teenager. Yeah, yeah, yeah i know that and im going to do it anyway. The future is too far away for that to be a reality or concern for them.
Government Regulates Indoor Tanning for Teens and Young Children
With much pressure from many health groups and organizations about the dangers of tanning beds many states have already put restrictions on indoor tanning for teens. While some states do not have any age restrictions on indoor tanning beds many do. Some states have an age restriction only and some states require parental consent . Recently California has become the first state to actually pass a law to prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from using a tanning bed. This is a change in their previous law where they allowed 15-17 year teens to use indoor tanning salons with parental consent. There are a few skin conditions that doctors actually prescribe a tanning bed treatment for their young patients.. but these cases are very small and definitely not the norm. But California will allow for these exceptions if they are valid and prescribed by a physician.
As of right now there are 18 other states considering banning the use of indoor tanning beds just as California did.And there’s another 5 or 6 states that are considering increased regulation such as parental consent.
Opponents of this ban argue that these new proposals are just another way that government is intruding once again in our lives. They also fear that these new bans will cost thousands of jobs in the tanning business since teens make up a very high percentage of their business. Opponents are also arguing that the benefits of Vitamin D that we do get from the UV rays far outweigh the risks associated with the tanning beds and that teens are more likely to get more skin damage at the beach than they are from a tanning bed. But these arguments are the arguments of people with a direct interest in the industry. But we’re talking about our kids.We’re talking about their health. We’re talking about their futures. As parents of our children we have the direct responsibility to guide them ,educate them and also protect them. We warn them all through their lives of all the dangers of the world. We want to protect them forever. We don’t let them smoke or drink underage. Why then would we allow them to use indoor tanning beds at such a young age when we know the risks are so high for them?