For the last couple of decades, pediatricians — along with other health officials — have urged parents to protect their children’s skin from too much sun exposure. In the past few years, concerns were raised over the low levels of Vitamin D found in an increasing number of children. But overall, medical professionals have advised limiting time in the sun, using sunscreens and wearing protective clothing.
But doctors and researchers missed another area where some teens are knowingly soaking up harmful ultraviolet rays and even paying to do it.
At tanning salons.
Millions of Americans frequent tanning salons and a significant number of tanning bed users are teens. One national survey showed 35 percent of 17-year-old girls had gone to a tanning salon at least once.
So the American Academy of Pediatrics is urging a ban on artificial tanning for kids under 18. They’re also urging doctors to support legislation in states where lawmakers are considering the kid-tanning bans. The new AAP guidelines on tanning salons will appear in the March 3 issue of Pediatrics.
Do you agree that teens (and younger kids, but no one takes their younger kids to tanning salons, right?) should be banned from tanning at salons? Have you ever been to a tanning salon? Do you think they’re making a big deal out of nothing? Think teen tanners will migrate to the spray tan salons?
Photo: EvilErin via flickr