MISSION, Kan. — With spring break and prom right around the corner, tanning beds will likely be full of teens in the coming weeks, but not if Kansas legislators have anything to say about it.
A bill that now just needs Senate approval would ban anyone from under the age of 18 from ever getting into a tanning bed in Kansas.
Golden Tan owner Paulette Beckley says she sees underage clients every day.
“Being in between all the schools right here, they`ll come in packs three, four, five girls come at a time to come and tan,” she said.
Teens tanning at such a young age, and so frequently, is a big concern for many health organizations.
“I don`t recommend that the young girls come in seven days a week, that type of thing, a lot of them do because they are getting their tan on for dances,” Beckley said.
Kansas is currently one of just eight states that doesn`t have any restrictions on minors tanning. But a bill that passed the House on Thursday would give the Sunflower State some of the toughest regulations in the nation.
Missouri allows teens to tan with parental permission. Kansas` law would make no such accommodations, and fine salon owners $250 for allowing minors to tan.
“A lot of parents will call up here asking if their parents require a signature because they don`t have a problem with their kids, but now they aren`t going to have a choice they just aren`t going to be able to tan,” Beckley said.
Parent Dee Miller was on her way into the tanning bed Thursday, but says she actually supports the legislation.
“I have kids and I would never let them tan when they were young, I know it`s all UV so it`s got to be bad,” Miller said.
If the legislation passes, Beckley estimates it could cut her business by 20 percent.
“Twenty percent is 20 percent, that`s going to pay my power bill, so it`s going to hurt,” she said.
This isn`t the first time Kansas has debated a tan ban for minors; a measure didn`t gain enough support back in 2014. An Overland Park cancer survivor who testified in on the issue in February told FOX 4’s Dave D’Marko she’s optimistic the bill has made it this far this time.