Another case of a minor being burned in an unmanned tanning salon made news today. This time, the child was 10 years old. Yes, there was a sign on the door saying “Strictly over 16s, only”. Whoever thought that would keep out younger kids have no understanding of a child’s mind.
A case earlier in the year involving a 14 year old highlighted the importance of supervision at these salons. However, the owners there had insisted that the salons were manned. This new case goes to show that either these people are paying lip service or they are completely unaware of what their employees do.
Children may hear horror stories, but they don’t listen until it’s happened to them. Sometimes, even that is not enough to change their behaviour. The same can be said of adults.
How many more injuries of this nature must we tolerate before we decide that enough is enough? If the tanning industry cannot ensure safety to children, then the government needs to step in and act. Salons should be manned and young children will need to prove that they are old enough to enter. Simply taking their word for it is not adequate. In addition, the employee needs to supervise use to prevent any burns to anyone.
It is a sad state of this society that we’ve created an image of tan as beautiful, to the extent that even a 10-year old wants a tan. Haven’t we learned from the stories of anorexic and bulimic children who try to be skinny as a result of the super-thin models? Now we’ll have horror stories of children being badly burned and developing serious skin problems.