Del. Bans Teens from Using Tanning Beds - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Bans Teens from Using Tanning Beds

(Photo: MGN) (Photo: MGN)

LEWES, Del. -- A new law went into effect Jan.1 in Delaware banning minors from using indoor tanning beds.

The bill, signed into law by Gov. Jack Markell last year, is a new measure to help prevent teens' exposure to melanoma.

While some Sussex County tanning salon owners have said the law will hurt business, some mothers think it's too risky to let children use tanning devices.

"I think it probably is a very good idea although the young people won't want to hear it," said Cindy Anderson of Rehoboth. Anderson, now a grandmother, said she and her daughter used to fight tooth-and-nail over using tanning beds and booths.

Anderson's granddaughter Riley Klopp who just celebrated her 12th birthday, said artificial tans pose too great of a health risk in her eyes.

"It just doesn't really appeal to me," said Klopp. "I don't get why you would want to risk cancer to get darker skin," the pre-teen said.

Mother of a high school student and tanning bed user herself, Marjorie DiLima said her daughter is not allowed to use the tanning device they have at home.

"I've had a tanning bed in my house since the 90s," said DiLima. "I know how bad they are and my daughter Mackenzie is not allowed to use it," she said.

Before the law was enacted, minors who were at least 14-years old could get parental consent to use indoor tanning beds or booths.

The new law does not apply, however, to spray tans. Minors can still receive spray tan treatments without consent from parents.

Panda Husbands manages the Ocean Retreat spa in Lewes where spray tans are performed regularly on teenage girls, sometimes with their mothers.

Husbands' said they try to encourage parents to accompany their teens when coming in for treatments.

"We definitely get teenagers that do come in with moms and once they get comfortable they can come by themselves," said Husbands. "If they're really young we do try to have the parent come with them," the spa manager said.

Delaware is among nearly a dozen other states that prohibit minors from using tanning beds and booths, including California and the District of Columbia.

Neither Maryland nor Virginia currently have laws prohibiting minors from using tanning beds, though both states do have age requirements for parental consent.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says indoor tanning is even more dangerous for younger users as they have a higher risk of getting melanoma.

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