I know it’s obvious and yet I feel I needed to do a blog about it with Spring Break and prom approaching. Every year I seen teenagers in the office who are unnaturally tan before for this time of year and the only way that can happen around here is if they are visiting a tanning salon.
Let me let you know one thing: there is no ‘safe’ tanning. I like the sun as much as anyone, maybe more, but going to a tanning salon before prom or spring break is not a good idea. The good news is that at least Michigan requires parental consent for a minor to use a commercial tanning booth, 17 other states do not. Children as young as 10 can use tanning booths in states like Missouri without any parent consent at all.
When your teenager asks for consent to go to the local tanning salon before spring break or prom ‘look healthy’ or ‘get her base tan’ so she doesn’t burn, remind her that this sort of exposure has risks. Even with sunscreen, melanoma, basal cell, and squamous cell cancers can all grow and the risk is cumulative. I understand that we don’t want to avoid the sun altogether, of course, but going indoors to a booth to sit in a coffin-like tube with lights to tan isn’t at all the same as enjoying the water or a bike ride or a hike while you also happen to be in the sun (with sunscreen on!)
Be strong parents! Your teenager needs your consent to go in Michigan so you have the opportunity to minimize their risk!