Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hmmm...Get A Free Tanning Session (A Carcinogen) YET Sunscreen Is An OTC That Parents' Can't Send To School! What A Whacky World!

Is it just me or is something wrong with that picture? Yet that's the world we live in, at least in the USA.

Tanning beds have been classified as a Class One Carcinogen and tanning salons can give away sessions...to minors, at that, in some places. (Do a search for "free tanning session" or drive around town).

At the same time, sunscreen has been classified as an Over-The-Counter drug and cannot be sent to school by parents for student or teacher to administer to keep a student sun-safe while outside. (Note: some school districts are seeking to discuss policy changes). Sunscreen is only good for two hours at a time, so it does little good to send a child off slathered in it and expect them to be protected all day. Come recess (RECESS?) and protection is gone.

Now, I understand allergies and some children may be allergic to an ingredient and parents have to find a safe product. That should be the parent's call and responsibility. Inappropriate touching seems to be a concern...parents can teach their children how to apply sunscreen. My two and a half year old granddaughter knows how! It's not that hard to teach.

So, let's NOT put our children at increased risk for possible skin cancer or melanoma later in life. Teach them safe-sun practices and put those lessons into practice. Let's reduce that risk for them.

Speaking of reducing risk...wow...FREE tanning sessions...some places with no mention of age limits. Are we in a country just dying to see their citizens die? Tanning beds, whether in a salon or at home are carcinogens. They are known cancer causers. And they are doing their job like gang-busters!

I'm ticked. I've got my bi-annual appointment with my melanoma specialist surgical oncologist coming up. I didn't practice safe sun and it may kill me one day. Literally. It IS killing friends. So are tanning beds. I didn't know when I was a teen what I was bringing on myself.

I know now. We, in the melanoma community, know now.

Not ALL melanoma is caused by unsafe sun practices or tanning beds...just most of it. People of all ages, races, and both sexes get out in the sun and/or use tanning beds.

All people, that I know, have skin. They have organs, eyes, nail beds, mouths, and areas "where the sun don't shine." ALL are areas that melanoma can start in. Melanoma does NOT always begin on the surface OR in skin or moles.

But when it begins it's dang tough to stop. Sometimes it's impossible.

Melanoma is on target for being the most prevalent cancer of ALL cancers by 2022 (read the post right under this one).

With asinine policies like we've currently got, that's not likely to change anytime soon.

Don't be part of that statistic.

Charis