Food for thought about how to live healthy!

What is it with the American young adult society’s obsession to look as tan as possible?

Who would pay $30 weekly to be shot with radioactive particles? What parent would pay for their child to be shot up with radiation just to look dark??

Although minors make up 10% of the commercial tanning population, the governor of California has signed into a law a bill preventing anyone under the age of 18 from using artificial tanning beds.

Thankfully, no one under the age of 18 in California is going to be hit with those fun purple lights anytime soon. Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that prevents minors from using commercial tanning beds.

I personally have never understood how looking like a carrot looks hot. But I guess people can’t help it if they’re sexually attracted to walking traffic cones. If you’re one of those people who tans every week, you may as well have skin made from traffic cones.

Natural tanning is one thing. It is the healthiest way to get that bronze glow so many crave for. The Sun’s UV rays stimulate the production of Vitamin D, and 30 minutes of sunlight a day has shown to be effective against fighting depression.

The ultraviolet rays from tanning beds can cause serious damage. The radiation actually makes skin thinner, thus making it more vulnerable to radiation and less likely to heal. Those who tan artificially once a month or more are 55 percent more likely to develop malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.

Let me make this clear: tanning, in general, is not good. Both the Sun and artificial tanning beds give off dangerous UVA and UVB rays. But if you are trying to get darker, stick to the Sun. Or try using artificial tanning sprays. Sprays rarely have side effects and look just as natural as a normal tan.

As for STI prevention? Let’s just say, I know I’m getting old when my friends start having kids on purpose. Keep in mind, I’m only 19 and my friends are not much older (or younger) than I am.

Gov. Brown also signed into a law a bill that gives children 12 or older to get medical care that involves the prevention of STI’s without parental consent. This includes the HPV vaccine. While some people believe it is encouraging kids to have sex at a younger age and rebel against their parents wishes, others say that giving kids the freedom to choose whether or not to be vaccinated could save thousands of lives.

HPV is a virus known to cause several deadly forms of ovarian cancer. The vaccine is the only known vaccine that prevents a certain form of cancer.

But whether you’re in support of the new bills or against them, one thing is clear: health guidelines for adolescent minors are finally starting to get the recognition and attention they deserve. Many healthcare laws focus on adults or children, but several state and federal laws are vague about the medical treatment of those 12-17. My guess is the reason that politicians neglect the adolescent age group is because they are unclear whether teenagers should be treated as children or adults.

Whatever the case is, parents need to set a good example and clearly communicate with their kids the dangers of teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, and STIs.

*Side note: STI stands for Sexually Transmitted Infection. Most people are used to seeing the abbreviation STD, Sexually Transmitted Disease. The medical community has recognized that the illnesses transmitted via sexual intercourse are infections and not diseases, considering they are caused by a pathogen whether it be a bacteria or a virus. The term STD is still used but STI has become recognized as the more accurate term.

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