How Old Do You Have to Be to Go Tanning?

girl in tanning bed

If you or your child is wanting to go tanning (tanning beds) you might be wondering is there a legal law at what age indoor tanning is allowed.

There is no 1 rule fits all for indoor tanning and age allowed. It all depends on the state you are in, as each have their own laws and regulations.

Below we will get into this in more detail and explain the differences between the states and what you need to know.

How Old Do You Have to be to Go Tanning?

It sometimes depends what age you are if you will be allowed to go tanning but there may be a few other requirements such as parents/guardians’ permission. Once you turn 18 in most states you will be no longer considered a minor and will be able to tan regardless of what state you are in. Though there are exceptions to this like New York where indoor tanning is prohibited for everyone under 21 years old.

Some states will have restrictions, and others will not, that will allow you to use a tanning bed at a younger age depending on a few factors which we will cover below.

Prohibits All Minors from UV Tanning

The states that block all minors is as it sounds. No minors under the age of 18 will not be allowed to go tanning in these states regardless of parent’s permission etc.

Simply they will not be allowed to use tanning beds until they have at least reached 18 years old.

States in this category: ME, VT, NH, WA, MN, MA, RI, IL, OR, NV, WV, VA, MD, DE, CA, KS, NC, DC, OK, LA, TX, HI.

Prohibits Some Minors from UV Tanning

Some states will simply not allow minors under a certain age regardless of parent’s permissions.

For example, in Alabama all minors under 15 will not be allowed to go UV tanning. But minors aged from 15-17 can using a tanning bed with parents’ permission at ages 15-17. And guardian attendance is also required at age 15.

States in this category: ND, WI, NY, ID, WY, IN, PA, NJ, CT, TN, AL, GA.

Requires Parent or Guardian Permission and/or Accompaniment

This will generally depend on each state individually but usually there are some additional requirements such as age or permission needed from parents or guardians that will last for 1 year typically.

For example, in Georgia minors aged from 14-18 will be allowed to use tanning beds but must have guardians’ permission but accompaniment is not required.

Some other states also may require a doctor’s permission or use of eye goggles as examples.

States in this category: ME, ND, MI, NY, ID, WY, IN, PA, OH, PA, NJ, NE, MO, KY, VA, DE, UT, AR, TN, SC, AZ, MS, GA FL.

Allows Use of UV Tanning with RX

Use of a tanning bed with RX basically means a prescription from a doctor is allowed to help treat or help minor ailments.

This can be to help treat things like melanoma. Using tanning beds for treatment is not too common but does happen occasionally.

Of course, this requirement of the doctor’s prescription will only be needed for people who are based in the states that have that ruling. If you are in a state with no restrictions a prescription will not be needed. And likewise in a fully prohibited state it will not be possible even with a doctor’s permission.

Keep in mind there are a few states that prohibit regular use but allow it with medical permission.

States in this category: WA, ND, ID, OR, UT, AL.

No Restrictions

The final ruling is no restrictions. This means minors of any age can use tanning beds without any permission or age requirements.

States in this category: AK, MT, SD, IA, CO, NM, AS, GU, MP, VI, PR.

For complete tanning rules per state check AIM at Melanoma for complete information.

New Tanning Rules and Regulations

Keep in mind that occasionally new tanning laws are implemented depending on each state.

Of course, if you are a minor and your dependents are minors you will be explained the tanning rules and if you don’t meet them in your state you will not be able to tan.

Tanning Ethics as a Minor

As you can see from the rules and regulations there is clearly a variety of opinions and thoughts when it comes to using tanning beds as a minor in general. With some states completely blocking it until 18 or older and some states having no rules at all stopping it from happening.

Whether it’s you or your child or sibling or whatever the case each person will have to make their own decisions.

Whatever the case if you do meet the requirements in your own state and do decide to go tanning we recommend starting slow and ramping up over time. This is a good period for you to see how the skin is when exposed to the tanning beds UV lights.

If you notice any irritation or skin problems it’s best to stop. For more information and advice on starting to use tanning beds no matter the age check our article here – Tanning Bed Time Chart – Beginners Advice.

Keep in mind that sun tanning is allowed in all states regardless of age and can be an alternative to using tanning beds. Just keep time spent in the sun in controlled sessions as to not overexpose the skin to the sun.

Related Questions

Can a 15-Year-Old Tan in a Tanning Bed?

It depends on which state you are in if you can use a tanning bed at 15 years old. There is a selection of states that will not allow it and some others that will.

Can You Tan as a Minor?

Again, it depends on the state. Some states will allow tanning at any age whereas others will not allow it until over 18, and even in New York you must be over 21 before being allowed to use a tanning bed.

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