Legislator wants to ban tanning for teens under 16

Filed under: Teens, Health & Safety: Babies, Development/Milestones: Babies

I spent a good amount of time in my teenage years laying poolside, working on getting the best tan. Sure, I had heard all about wearing sunscreen and such, but I didn't care. I wanted to look good and, in my mind, tanned skin looked good.

Now that I'm older, you couldn't get me outside without sunscreen, let alone get me to go tanning.

One legislator in North Dakota wants to make sure that teenagers under the age of 16 aren't spending their time inside in a tanning booth. He is proposing a bill, backed by two dermatologists, banning those under 16 from tanning beds.

This is quite an interesting idea. We know that tanning, whether it be in a booth or by the sun, causes skin cancer. But the decision to tan and risk skin cancer is one that people have to make on their own. But, should a 15-year-old, whose logic and reasoning skills aren't matured, be allowed to go these tanning facilities?

The man that wrote the blog linked says this:

"Really, how much of a problem is this? If there has been a spate of teenagers with skin cancer caused by tanning beds I've yet to hear about it. If these dermatologists in Bismarck are worried about skin cancer let them raise some money to run ads about it or convince tanning salons to establish a minimum age policy. What we don't need are our tax dollars going to enforce a law that is aimed at solving a problem that, to this observer, doesn't even seem to exist in the first place."

The problem doesn't exist? Sadly, it does. How do you think those teens at the mall are so dark in the middle of February? But, I think the question is this: Should the government step in to say that these kids should (or shouldn't) do something that may eventually cause cancer?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.