Should Children be Allowed to Tan?

Children are banned from tanning booths in New Jersey and California. Should Pennsylvania follow suit?

Moms Talk is a weekly feature on all Lehigh Valley Patches in which local parents, caregivers and other members of the community are invited to share opinions and advice on parenting topics.

This week’s Moms Talk question relates to tanning.

Here’s what we want to know:

Should children be allowed to tan?

The issue of children tanning gained a poster child when a New Jersey mom brought her 5-year-old daughter into a tanning bed. According to published reports, the woman, now known as the “Tanning Mom,” was brought into the limelight by the girl’s teacher who was concerned about the child’s sunburn. She heard her the girl telling her classmates that she "went tanning with Mommy." Now, the Mom is banned from tanning beds in New Jersey, according to published reports. New Jersey law prohibits children under the age of 14 to tan in a tanning booth.  Teenagers between 14 and 17 can tan in a booth, but must be accompanied by an adult.

Post your comments below and tell us what you think.

Our Moms Council members include: 

  • Lisa Amey of Upper Milford Township is a stay-at-home mom to an 8-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. A past president of the MOMS Club of Emmaus and longtime member of MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers), Lisa is an Independent Consultant for Arbonne International. 
  • Lisa Drew of Emmaus is a certified nutritionist and personal trainer, wellness and fitness coach with more than 17 years of experience. She is the mother of a 13-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy.
  • Jennifer Elston of Emmaus has almost two decades of professional experience in child development and counseling. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls. Together with her husband, Chris, she owns Christopher Elston Photography.
  • Jeanne Lombardo of Nazareth is the mother of a 10-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. She’s new to the Lehigh Valley, having moved to Nazareth from Bergen County, NJ in January.
  • Lisa Merk of Lower Macungie is a stay-at-home mother of four boys – a 12-year-old and 6-year-old triplets. Lisa is a past president of the MOMS Club of Lower Macungie East. In her “spare” time, Lisa teaches piano to school-age children.
  • Zoila Bonilla Paul of Bethlehem is a stay-at-home mom to two girls – a 5-year-old and a 14-month-old. Zoila is a member of her local “moms’ club” and says she is “well-versed in the fun that children can bring.”
  • Beth Sharpless of Emmaus works part time in a local emergency department as a nurse and part time from home as a customer support specialist. She has two children -- a boy who is almost 2 and a 5-year-old girl. She says they love spending time outdoors and dancing.

If you would like to become a part of the Moms Council and/or have ideas for future Moms Talk questions, please email jennifer.marangos@patch.com.

WILFREDO G. SALCEDO, Sr. June 11, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Why even bother with tanning?..Even under the sun can be unhealthy...Isn't there a spray one could use to get a tan?..Just as smoking causes lung cancer/emphysema, tanning can cause skin cancer...Let's emulate healthier lifestyle.
Ron Beitler June 11, 2012 at 02:06 PM
No! Kids tanning is.... Hmmm what's the right word? Creepy? Ya it's creepy. Completely innapropriate in addition to of course dangerous.
Lisa Amey June 11, 2012 at 03:14 PM
@Wilfredo....Most spray tans are full of toxins as well.
Scott Snyder June 12, 2012 at 03:55 PM
I remember when a tan was just something you got by virtue of being a kid in summertime, doing what kids do. Has it really come to this? And yeh, 10-year-olds tanning is in the creepy zone of preschool beauty pageants and Old Navy short-shorts in size 5T. Let's not make it any easier for the pedophiles than it has to be.
Jennifer Elston June 12, 2012 at 06:00 PM
I would never take a child to a tanning salon. I think it's a terribly irresponsible thing to do. Always wear sunscreen and get your tan the natural way!


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