Pediatricians Urge Ban on Tanning Parlors for Children

Doctors are turning up the heat on regulators to ban teenagers and younger children from using tanning beds and other techniques to give the body an artificial bronze.

The American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday weighed in on artificial tanning — a popular ritual among many teenagers, but one that can raise the risk of skin cancer. In a statement published in the March issue of the journal Pediatrics, the AAP urged pediatricians to “support and advocate for legislation to ban access to tanning parlors for children younger than 18 years.”

As the Associated Press reports, more than 30 states regulate indoor tanning by minors, with some banning children younger than 14 or requiring parental permission. In addition, such states as Illinois and New York are considering bills to bar anyone under 18 from indoor tanning.

At the federal level, the Food and Drug Administration is considering stricter regulations on youths using tanning beds, and an advisory panel already has recommended that anyone below the age of 18 have parental consent.

The AAP noted that the ultraviolet-A radiation from a tanning bed can be up to 15 times more intense than what a person might receive from the midday sun. The problem is compounded by the popularity of the tanning beds — according to one survey, nearly one-quarter of 13- to 19-year-old white Americans said they used a tanning bed at least once.

According to the news service HealthDay, the AAP’s statement follows similar calls by the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization and the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.

On Friday, the dermatologists group issued a statement noting that melanoma is the most common skin cancer among children and that “only six severe sunburns in a lifetime increase risk of melanoma by 50 percent.”

The AAP encouraged greater awareness of the dangers posed by ultraviolet radiation, and recommended protection such as sunblock and sunglasses for people who spend a lot of time outside.

Related Posts:
Ignorant of Risks, Tanning Enthusiasts Keep on Bronzing Themselves
Indoor Tanning’s Dark Secret: Some Devotees are Addicted
FDA Weighs Tighter Controls on Indoor Tanning for Teens

Print Print  

Leave a comment