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    Should tanning beds be better regulated?
    Olivia_WebMD_Staff posted:
    For the past couple of days, a story about a 44-year-old New Jersey mom alledgedly putting her 5-year-old daughter in a tanning booth with her has been trending in the news.

    May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month , and this story brings to light the risks of tanning and particularly using tanning beds.

    Tanning beds seem to attract teenagers as they strive to bronze up for prom or for the upcoming beach season. And, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, melanoma is the 2nd most common cancer among 15 - 29-year-olds. Scary.

    Many states allow children over 14 to use tanning beds with parental consent.

    What do you think of tanning beds? Should they be better regulated? Should children be able to use them, even WITH parental consent?

    How have you discouraged your own teens from using tanning beds?

    Shout out!
    jenlewi responded:
    Tanning beds aren't good for anyone. I went to high school with twin girls who used tanning beds all winter long and sunbathed all summer. Ten years after graduation, I ran into one of them, only to find she looked like she was 70 years old. Her skin was wrinkled and leathery-looking, and it was painfully obvious she was desperately unhealthy. With spray tan so easy and readily available, there's no reason for ANYONE to spend even one minute in a tanning bed. Also, "tan" isn't the right word, anyway, since the frequent flyers of the cancer coffins look more orange than tan. If you WANT to be an unhealthy oompa-loompa, go for it. If you've got a brain, stay away from them.
    fenton04 replied to jenlewi's response:
    I would like to add that all my experiences with the oompa-loompa I have found them to be hard working and industrious. The oompa-loompa have a sweet disposition but the can be mischevious. If any one can direct me to the oompa-loompa webmd community it would be most appreciated. I can t seem to find it. On a side note that mother must be off her rocker. Lawd help the child!!!
    An_245089 responded:
    That mother ought to have been arrest.SHE LOOKED LIKE A FREAK! You can see how tight her skin was;it was like if she sat down her mouth woud open. My wife s a pediatrician and she said it might be a social service case if harmed apparent. Thats my two cents worth
    bj1208 responded:
    HI Olivia -

    When my husband was working in Louisiana he wanted to get a start on his tan so he would go to the tanning beds (used a stand up one) and when I visited him he purchased a couple for me and when I returned home I bought a couple (have Olive skin tone) so I tan fast.

    Well I didn't realize this and I did ask before tanning, that I had a Fusion surgery and have hardware in my back. My PA noticed how much darker I was and she asked what I was doing thinking I was laying out - when I told her she freaked and said to stop cause the heat from the lights would heat up the plate!!!! and that's the truth as I noticed I was in more pain for a few hours after each visit but thought it was from laying down for 10-20 minutes on my back.

    With this in mind I don't think tanning beds are good as long term exposure can cause aging, dry leathery skin etc.,

    I really don't think the mother's story adds up - guess we will see what unfolds -

    Thanks Olivia - Joy
    Anon_43 responded:
    Where I live there was a big push about this a few months back and we were able to change the regulation so that no one under 18 can use a tanning bed even with a parental consent. I hope that one day they're outlawed altogether.

    Faster aging aside, the risk of skin cancer is too great, especially with early exposure.

    That's interesting, BJ, about the plate/fusion and the impact of tanning on that.
    tlkittycat1968 responded:
    I don't think anyone should use tanning beds or even sunbathe. A tan is not "healthy," it's your body's way of preventing more damage.

    One of my aunts is younger than my mom but looks older because she spent a lot of time in the sun when she was younger. I used to lay out but never for very long but now I try and stay in the shade and if I'm going to be in the sun make sure I'm wearing sunscreen.
    JenPBDBP2 responded:
    I think we're very hypocritical about tanning. We know it causes cancer but since tans are socially attractive, we don't care. Smoking used to be considered socially attractive as well but we don't do that anymore. I was astounded to see ads for tanning salons in my son's high school handbook.
    jenlewi replied to JenPBDBP2's response:
    Ads for tanning salons in a high school handbook? That's disturbing. I hope he and his friends are too smart to try that. Once again, I have to observe, with spray tans being so easy and looking so much better than the oompa-loompa orange you get from a tanning bed, why would anyone still visit the cancer coffin?
    CanadianDyanne replied to jenlewi's response:
    no, and nor should they be allowed to purchase those so called 'energy' drinks that are all sugar additives and make the heart race. They should be the same as an alcohal purchase.
    jenlewi replied to CanadianDyanne's response:
    What about the energy drinks WITH booze? Yikes! I confess to indulging in the regular energy drinks from time to time, but as an adult. I was lucky to get a can of Coke as a kid. I could have tea or coffee, but no soda loaded with sugar and caffeine. Of course, that meant my uncle gave me all the soda I could swill before my mother caught me, which was frequently enough to make me quite ill. (She apparently bullied him when they were kids, and I was a great way to get even. He was my favorite uncle, though, since he spoiled me silly.)
    butterflygarden replied to JenPBDBP2's response:
    I think you're right, Jen. We are hypocritical about it. I think most of us still believe we look better if we're not pasty and pale. But, the reality is tanning is putting you at risk for skin cancer. I read that even people with naturally darker skin should wear sunscreen.

    I remember being a teen and literally rubbing butter on myself to lay out in the back yard. Ugh. If I knew then what I know now. All I can do it try hard to communicate what I know to my kids. I brought them up slathered down with sunscreen before they ventured out to the pool or on the boat. And, they STILL managed to get burned from time to time.

    Now I have a crusty spot on the tip of my nose that I am pretty sure it is actinic keratosis. Going to have a skin check with my derm next week and kind of worried.

    Teens should NOT be allowed in tanning beds, and parents should NOT ever approve it for them. It's up to us to protect them.

    An_245236 responded:
    Tanning beds are so dangerous they destroy skin and a shure way to get melanoma which already is one of the higher numbers in cancer. It is time for people to stop acting stupid and protect themselves.
    sunydaz responded:
    Tanning beds are ok within reason. I went one summer 5 days a week for almost a month. I was 24 then. I had a spot on my back that hurt and itched like crazy everytime I went into the tanning beds, had someone look at it and was told I should get it looked at so I did. It was Melanoma! Most likely the tanning beds brought it out, however, chances are I may have already had it and was lucky enough to catch it then. It was already in the 3rd stage and there are only 5 stages. I had a 5 in. square cut out of my back to remove it. I was lucky! People should realize that they can get it from using the tanning beds as well as laying in the sun. I am now 47 and do not spend a whole lot of time in the sun as a result of this, people need to be more aware. Melanoma is scary!
    jbrinson2 responded:
    The govt controls enough of my life and how I parent my children - with that said, they've already put govt limitations on SPF requirements, so NO they should not be further regulated. I love my freedom and I don't need to rely on our (ahem) worthless govt to keep me safe. Thanks.

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