Lights go out on sun beds for U18s

Banned: For U18s
Banned: For U18s

Strict new rules coming into force this year will mean under-18s will not longer be able to use sun beds in South Ribble.

From April, any business which fails to stop under-18s using the beds could be hit with a £20,000 fine.

South Ribble Borough Council will adhere to the national legislation on the back of stark health warnings which say the risk of skin cancer is particularly high when using the UV tanning devices at a young age.

Coun Colin Clark, deputy leader of South Ribble Borough Council, said: “The council takes the health and wellbeing of its residents very seriously, especially when it comes to young people.

“Scientific studies have shown that using sun beds at a young age increases the risk of developing skin cancer and so we want to make sure we protect young people from using them.”

No legislation regarding the use of sun beds is in place at the moment. But health guidelines do say that under-16s should not be allowed access to sun beds.

The council last year carried out a test purchasing operation which saw a 14-year-old able to buy time on sun beds at more than half of shops visited in the borough.

Under new rules, a restricted zone will be created around sun beds which underage people must not enter.

This includes gyms and hotels.

Owner of the Cosmopolitan salon in Leyland Lane, Stephanie Lathrope, said she always asks for identification if a customer appears to be under 16 and she will continue adhering to her stringent procedures in April when the age limit increases.

She said: “I think the new legislation is a good idea. It’s down to the responsibility of the owner of a salon to make sure that young people are not using the sun beds. We don’t tend to get too many young people in here anyway but currently, if someone’s under 18 then I get their parents to come in to sign a disclaimer. There are some salons who let people go on for as long as they want to, but in my salon, I always have the last word and don’t let customers stay on too long. I try to advise my customers about the safety side of things but sometimes they’ll argue until they’re blue in the face.”

Coun Clark said: “The new rules will be in place from April and we will be policing them rigorously.

“Businesses that offer tanning facilities should consider themselves warned – it is simply not acceptable to allow under-18s to use your tanning facilities.”

For more information and advice, call the council on 01772 625357 if you would like more information or advice.