"Tanning releases endorphins, which can promote feelings of relaxation and well-being. Studies suggest that frequent users may exhibit addictive behaviors and withdrawal symptoms when they decrease usage," said Dr. Balk. "It is unacceptable that tanning devices are classified in the same category as tongue depressors and elastic bandages – devices that present minimal potential for harm. Clearly, this needs to be reconsidered and use needs to be better regulated by the FDA."
There is no federal age regulation to restrict minors' tanning bed use so currently each state determines tanning bed regulations, ranging from complete bans for people under 18 in California and Vermont, to no legislation regarding minors in 17 states. Dr. Balk believes that national policies and guidelines should be implemented to completely ban access for minors.
"I encourage pediatricians to begin tanning discussions with parents and children beginning at the 12-year-old well-child visit," Dr. Balk said. "Taking a proactive approach and teaching teens to "love the skin you're in" is one of the best lines of defense against skin cancer."
About Montefiore Medical Center As the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore is a premier academic medical center nationally renowned for its clinical excellence, scientific discovery and commitment to its community. Recognized among the top hospitals nationally and regionally by U.S. News & World Report, Montefiore provides compassionate, patient- and family-centered care and educates the healthcare professionals of tomorrow. The Children's Hospital at Montefiore is consistently named in U.S. News' "America's Best Children's Hospitals," and is second among those in the New York metro area. With four hospitals, 1,491 beds and 90,000 annual admissions, Montefiore is an integrated health system seamlessly linked by advanced technology. State-of-the-art primary and specialty care is provided through a network of more than 130 locations across the region, including the largest school health program in the nation and a home health program. Montefiore's partnership with Einstein advances clinical and translational research to accelerate the pace at which new discoveries become the treatments and therapies that benefit patients. The medical center derives its inspiration for excellence from its patients and community, and continues to be on the frontlines of developing innovative approaches to care. For more information please visit www.montefiore.org and www.montekids.org. Follow us on Twitter; like us on Facebook; view us on YouTubeSOURCE The Children's Hospital at Montefiore