Last year, we asked readers if minors should be required to get parental permission to use a tanning bed and almost 75% of voters said yes. But today, the American Academy of Pediatrics has declared its belief that minors should be legally barred from entering a tanning salon.
“We are looking for legislation that prohibits kids from going to tanning salons. It’s protecting our youth from something potentially harmful,” said the lead author of the statement written by an American Academy of Pediatrics. “It causes them to wrinkle later on and increases risk of skin cancer.”
A dermatologist and Harvard pediatrics professor tells CNN that the tanning industry takes advantage of the teen tendency to make ill-informed decisions.
“The industry has exploited this fact,” he said. “They have packaged deals for repeat use… There have been a few instances where statements have been made that [ultraviolet rays] are healthy because of vitamin D. That’s an extremely irresponsible concept that leads children or parents to think, ‘It isn’t so bad. What’s wrong with looking good for prom?’”
He says that tanning “changes the sequence of DNA and carries the potential to produce different types of skin cancer.”
A rep for the Indoor Tanning Association — yes, that exists — disagrees: “We’re talking about getting a sun tan… This is a decision best left for parents, not the government. Let parents make the decision.”