Doctors call for ban on tanning bed use for minors - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Doctors call for ban on tanning bed use for minors


IOWA CITY (KWWL) - The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is calling for a ban on tanning bed use for anyone under the age of 18. The policy statement comes weeks before spring break, which is when tanning beds fill up at most local salons.

"We'll get a line, sometimes 40 minutes to an hour for one bed," said Jill Menning, an employee at Sunkissed Tanning. Menning thinks the proposed "tan ban" for minors is too much, even though most of their clients are over 18.

"I think it's a bit harsh," said Menning.

However, Dr. Sophie Balk, who authored the proposal, says there is research showing that exposure to tanning beds increases the chance of a potentially deadly skin cancer.

"If you go to a tanning salon before the age of 35, your risk of melanoma is increased 75 percent," Dr. Balk explained.

Even though melanoma is the least common of the three major types of skin cancer, Dr. Balk says it does not discriminate by age.

"In one national survey, 10 percent of kids ages 11 to 18 said they'd gone to a tanning salon in the last year," said Dr. Balk. "Young people do get this disease, and when it spreads, it's fatal."

Most salons, like Sunkissed, restrict customers to one visit per day. "They have to go every 24 hours. We can't even put you in a bed unless it's been that long," Menning told us.

One local salon owner says he's been trying to convince younger clients to consider alternatives to the traditional fake bake.

"What we've been doing now is suggesting the spray tanning," said George Etre, owner of Iowa City Fitness. "It gets you kind of the same look results, but obviously not as much danger."

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

Powered by Frankly