Door to tanning being slammed shut for minors - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Door to tanning being slammed shut for minors

Tanning considered too harmful for minors Tanning considered too harmful for minors
(Toledo News Now) -

A healthy glow, a boost in vitamin D, or a way to warm up during the winter; whatever your reason may be tanning beds are popping up everywhere. They have been a huge growing trend over the past few decades, but have they been regulated enough for minors?

Teenagers tanning is a big concern, and banning them from the beds is becoming popular. Six states now outlaw anyone under the age of 18 from tanning, and two more may soon join in. It could be as restricted as buying a pack of cigarettes.

"I think it should be the parents' choice until they're 18. When they're 18 they can do what they want," said Christa Stillons.

Stillons tans, but if her 14-year-old asked to, she said she would probably tell him no.

Two bills in Missouri and Kansas could make that choice for her. In Missouri anyone under the age of 17 would need parents' permission to use a tanning bed. Kansas may not allow any minors to tan at all.

Howard Terry owns two tanning salons and he also has a 16-year-old daughter.

"That's a decision that I think as a parent we ought to be making," said Terry.

No one under the age of 16 can tan at his establishment without parental consent, but that's his choice, not lawmakers.

"When do you go to the swimming pool or when do you go to the lake and tell your family ‘No, I'm sorry you can't come or you've been here long enough?'" said Terry, owner of Electric Sun.

David Feineke is a dad and dermatologist with a different opinion.

"I do think it's a step in the right direction because hopefully a lot of more parents will get more involved and will get more educated about the risks involved," said Feineke.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 28 million people use tanning beds each year and more than two million are teens.

Stillons says her teen won't be one of them.

"They're going to get exposed to harmful rays their whole life. I don't think they necessarily need to get a jump start on that," said Stillons.

For now, tanning under age 18 in Ohio is allowed. Parents just have to sign a form saying they have given permission. All kinds of lawmakers, including here in Ohio have proposed changing the age for tanning to 18 years old and up, but so far, only six have banned it for kids.

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