Tanning Salons for Children

The new statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) puts the expert pediatricians’ organization in strong opposition to tanning salons and devices being used by children and teenagers. The reason behind the ban is the threat such devices pose to children’s skin health.

The statement quotes several researchers that discovered a definite link between the UV tanning process and the risk of developing skin cancer. One of the articles deals with the probability of children contracting melanoma, a lethal kind of skin cancer, as a result of their overexposure to sunshine.

Another cause for worrying is that the popularity of tanning facilities among underage children is growing. In the US, doctors report, 24% of white teenagers admit to having tried artificial tanning if only once. A nationwide survey shows that last year 10% of teenagers and pre-teens made use of tanning lamps at home, most of them girls.

The beauty acquired by adolescents via the use of ultraviolet radiation is outweighed by the danger of the exposure, the APP report concludes.

Parents and pediatricians are further urged to inform children under 18 of the threat of skin cancer and encourage them to take prevention measures, one of which is to forgo the habit of putting on artificial tan.

With this appeal the American Academy of Pediatrics comprising about 60,000 members joined forces with the American Academy of Dermatology, the World Health Organization and thousands of experts who consider tanning salons to be unsuitable for the use of adolescents.

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