Sunbeds should never be used by the under 18s – say scientists at the Health Protection Agency.
Changes to the law in England mean that those aged under 18 cannot use tanning salons or sunbeds at premises including beauty salons, leisure centres, gyms and hotels, must not be offered the use of a sunbed and are not allowed in areas reserved for sunbed users.
Restrictions on sunbed use by the under 18s also apply in Scotland, Wales and in Northern Ireland.
Sunbeds emit ultraviolet radiation, which can cause tanning and sunburn. There is no evidence to suggest any type of sunbed is less harmful than natural sun exposure and HPA discourages the use of sunbeds for cosmetic tanning. Sunbeds should never be used by anyone under 18 years of age. If you are over 18 years of age and wish to use a sunbed then use a facility that provides guidance to users and limit your use of the sunbed – don't have repeated sessions to build up a quick tan before a summer holiday.
The HPA also advises that if people do want to use sunbeds then they should visit facilities that give appropriate guidance about the skin-types of people who should not use the equipment.
Further information on protection from ultraviolet radiation is available on this site at Sunsense. Protecting Yourself from Ultraviolet Radiation.
Last reviewed: 11 April 2011