Should Tanning Beds Be Banned For Use By Teenagers?

"I remember being a young teenager and fantasizing about what my life would be like in a few years, when I was old enough to hit the beach with my friends. Back then, I was obsessed with the idea of tanning because I wanted to get my body picture perfect for the day that I first slipped into a bikini and waded into the water with a co-ed group of friends. At the time, I asked my parents about using a tanning bed. They refused, for a number of reasons starting with the cost and continuing on in to health concerns.

I was a typical teenager so I begged and pleaded and argued and yelled. And then I finally gave up and realized that I wasn't going to be using a tanning bed at any time during my teenage years. But that didn't do anything to diminish my dreams of having the perfect tan in place for whenever I might finally make it to those co-ed beach parties. Instead, I took a towel out into the hot sun, climbed up on the roof and began to tan naturally. Of course, I didn't tan, I burned. But I was a teenager, and I was stubborn, and as soon as the burn had peeled away, I did it again. This was a consistent story throughout my teenage years.

Would I have benefited as a teenager for being allowed to use a tanning bed? Probably not if I'd been given free reign to use one at my leisure (say if we had gotten one for our own home). But, given the right supervision and education in tanning procedures, I probably would have harmed the health of my skin a lot less if I was using a tanning bed than I did by abusing the sun.

Here are some things to think about if you are the parent of a teenager who wants to use a tanning bed:

o Where there's a will, there's a way. Educating your kids about the dangers that are your cause for concern is always better than just banning a product.

o Proper use of tanning lotions and other tanning products increases the safety of indoor tanning. Taking your teenager to a salon that will provide this education could be a good step towards healthful tanning for the rest of his or her life.

o Improper exposure to UV rays is particularly damaging for youths and teens. A good tanning salon can moderate exposure. As a parent, you should always go to the tanning salon with your teenager (yes, she'll hate you for it now and yes, she'll thank you for it later). Explain your concerns to the salon and work out a proper tanning plan to make sure that only moderate UV radiation will occur.

o Educate yourself. The more that you know about the topic of tanning, the better equipped you are to assist your teenager when the topic comes up.

The fact is that teenagers often do what they want. If you, as a parent, try to ban the option of tanning beds then your teenager is likely to find some other way to get that tan. Open communication with your teenager about the reasons for wanting a tan and the proper procedures for doing so will go a long way towards protecting the health of your child's skin and improving your relationship."

Baxter Owens is the developer of, an ultra premium Tanning Bed Lotion website & vendor. offers premium tanning lotion at discount, wholesale prices. Visit today for all of your indoor tanning & skin care needs!

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