Wakefield sunbed salons put kids at risk

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sunbed salons in Wakefield are failing to abide by the law in keeping children under 18 off of their beds.

Recent spot tests across the city found four out five centres to be offering tanning services to under 18s.

Wakefield MP Mary Creagh said: “Scientific evidence shows increased sunbed use by young women has led to soaring rates of skin cancer.

“It is worrying some shops in Wakefield have broken the law, putting children’s health and their businesses at risk.”

Legislation was changed in 2010 to prevent children using sunbeds and businesses can now be fined up to £20,000.

The recent test purchase initiative was set up by Wakefield Council’s Environmental Health Unit and West Yorkshire Trading Standards.

Wakefield salons failed four out of five spot tests, compared to Leeds, Bradford, Calderdale and Kirlees, where salons failed one or two.

A spokeswoman at the Sunbed Association said the results were shocking as most salons enforced over 18 rules before the recent legislation.

Glynn Humphries, Council Service Director for Communities, said: “Wakefield Council took part in this operation to ensure safeguards are put in place.

“Should these premises continue to ignore the legislation further action will be taken.”

Young people are being encouraged to use fake tanning methods rather than potentially harmful sunbeds.w

Lisa Harrison, Manager at the Horbury Beauty Spa, said: “Kids tend to use sunbeds as a quick fix without being aware of the danger they could be putting themselves in.

“Fake tans can be as dark or natural looking as you like and can last as long as six weeks.”

Ms Creagh added: “Businesses must do better but the safest way to get a tan is to fake it.”