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five-year-old-burned-in-tanning-bedMother Let's Girl In Tanning Bed

If you search the web, you have likely seen the latest story of a woman who allegedly let her five-year-old girl tan in the tanning booth.  Patricia Krentcil is accused of taking her daughter into the room where she frequently tans, exposing her to the ultraviolet rays that women seek out for a quick tan.  Her daughter was approached at school because her legs appeared to be sunburned, and she told the school nurse it was because she "tanned with mommy."  The school then contacted child services, who put the kindergartner in her father's care and turned the mom in to police.  So are the burns on the child's legs from a tanning booth, or simply, the sun?  We'd sure like to know.

Tanning Booths

The infamous tanning booth is called City Tropics Tanning Salon, and some investigators are saying that it would be difficult to fit a second person in the upright styled-tanning booth, even if the person is small.  The booth also appears to be designed in such a way that the ultra violet rays could not reach a person that is sitting inside the room.  However, City Tropics has the rule clearly stated at the front desk, that no children under age 14 can tan or be in the room.  As with most tanning rooms, the booth can be locked from the inside.

It doesn't help that the mother looks tanned to the extreme.  Patricia Krentcil is stating that it was the sun, not the tanning booth that caused the sunburns on her light-skinned, red-headed, daughter.  The sunburn has reportedly been a first degree burn.  The owner of the tanning booth has backed up the policy that children 14 years of age and under are not allowed in the tanning room.  And employees of the tanning salon have backed him up, saying that five-year-old Anna was outside with family while her mother tanned.

Krentcil tans about five days per week at a flat out $100 per month.  She does have a bit of a history with forgery, credit card theft and writing bad checks, which led her to serve a time of five years of probation.  Krenctil's lawyer says that people are judging based on Krenctil's appearance, assuming the worst, and that little Anna never went in to the tanning booth.


  • Whether the allegations are accurate or not, it seems obvious that Patricia Krentcil is addicted to tanning.  Otherwise known as tanorexia, tanning can become addictive.  Much like anorexia or body dysmorphic disorder, the person simply has a distorted view of how they look.  And so they continue to do the damaging behavior, giving them a feeling of euphoria produced by the brain's endorphins. 
  • We have all heard the warnings about tanning beds and the sun, and how too much exposure could literally kill us.  When we visit the tanning booth or are out in the sun, the ultraviolet radiation makes our skin result in cell damage.  The radiation from the sun and tanning beds ups our risk astronomically of skin cancer and premature aging.  And tanning beds are even worse than the regular sun, increasing the melanoma risk by 74 percent.
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