I read a statistic yesterday in the newspaper that scared me silly. A 2010 study shows that anyone who has used a tanning bed is 74% more likely than others to develop mlanoma. Now I'm no mathematician, but if you do the math, that means I've got only a 26% chance of NOT getting skin cancer...YIKES! That statistic is quite staggering and, to me, says that we need to mount an effort to educate the public better of tanning bed dangers - especially to our pre-teens and teens.
It really shouldn't be difficult to educate the public. I think the country as a whole gets the message once it's been put out there in force. For example, we once were a nation that didn't use seatbelts, but now we do. And we once were a nation that drank alcohol while pregnant and now we don't. I remember a time when we used baby lotion for suntanning and now that's completely crazy. We learned, through education, that these things had serious repercussions; therefore, we are smarter today and don't do these things. So, why is it taking so long for us to be aware of the dangers of tanning beds?
I ask because I just watched an entire generation of teens use tanning beds for prom, homecoming, pre-spring break trips...geez...even pre-vacations. It's very much the norm in high school and college-aged kids these days to tan in tanning beds regularly, and I'm very concerned that we may be setting up our youth for a future dealing with skin cancer.
I don't know that I have the solution, but what a scary statistic!