Missouri Legislature could make tanning tougher for minors

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Missouri legislature wants to make it tougher for kids to tan. A bill has been filed in Missouri that would require parental consent for minors to use tanning beds.

The Skin Cancer Foundation says people who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk for melanoma by 75 percent! While many tanning salons already require minors to have parental consent, a House bill has been filed to make it a law.

"When prom season came around my mom kind of caved in and let me go just for prom, and after that she's like, 'You're done for a while until you can make your own decisions,'" said 19-year-old Kelsey Wood, who has been using tanning beds since she was 17.

While she needed her mom's permission as a minor to tan, that could become a law if House Bill 1411 passes.

"A lot of tanning is based on a younger crowd, high school, prom," said Jason Dorssom, the owner of Tan360, "They get a lot of their daily business from a younger crowd, so it's definitely going to affect it."

The bill filed in Missouri this week would require anyone under the age of 17 to have parental consent to use tanning beds.

"I think that that's okay because I think that parents do have to be accountable for that," said April Abbott, a mother of two, one being a teenager.

She says she's all for this law.

"Just like you would have to be accountable if your child skips school or anything like that, I don't see why them putting themselves in danger with tanning should be any different," Abbott added.

A similar bill was filed in 2012, but it did not pass. This time, the age for consent changed from 18 to 17. And instead of being guilty of a Class C misdemeanor for violating the law, violators would be fined $100. Looking back now, Wood said it's probably for the best...

"I actually think it's a pretty good idea, I've seen a lot of girls in high school that over did it," Wood said.

Law or no law, many parents feel that minors can still get a healthy glow, like spray tanning.

"I think that there are great alternatives to it!" added Abbott.

If this bill does pass, any tanning facility violating the provisions of the bill will be subject to a $1,000 fine for each violation.

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