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American Academy of Pediatrics Supports Legislation to Ban Children From Tanning Beds: With Exclusive Commentary About How to Convert Clients Who Tan

Posted: March 2, 2011

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The AAP also noted that other organizations, including the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Dermatology, already support such a ban.

And in a statement issued Friday, Thomas Rohrer, MD, secretary of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), said his group "enthusiastically supports" the AAP's advocacy for a ban on tanning bed use by minors.

"Many parents may not be aware that melanoma is the most common skin cancer in children, followed by basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas," Rohrer said in a news release. "In addition, only six severe sunburns in a lifetime increase risk of melanoma by 50%."

Apart from the tanning bed recommendation, the AAP also advised that parents begin to educate children about UV protection from an early age, especially kids at high risk for skin cancer, such as fair-skinned children who freckle or sunburn easily, or children from families with a history of melanoma. Wearing proper clothing and hats is also encouraged, as is applying sunscreen and wearing sunglasses. Infants younger than six months should be especially shielded from the sun, the AAP said.

Doris Day, MD, a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and member of the ASDS, applauded the AAP's move to support the tanning bed ban for minors.