This year high school students going to the prom will be bronze as usual but with one difference. It will be a spray tan, not a tan gotten in a tanning bed. High school and college students across the nation are signing no tanning pledges in an effort to increase awareness of Melanoma.
The Melanoma foundation of New England started the no tanning pledge three years ago in a concerned effort to educate teens on the risk of Melanoma cancer caused by the UV rays in tanning beds.
What many people don’t know is Melanoma is the most deadly form of cancer there is. It is also the second most common cancer in young adults ages 15 to 25. Lying in a tanning bed before you are 30 increases your chances of contracting skin cancer by 75%.
The pledge asks that students not tan before the prom or before spring break. It also states the “facts of tanning.” The foundation offers a 1,000 award to the top two schools at the end of the pledge. These are the schools with the most pledges. Part of the pledge that the students sign reads,
“I realize that by getting a tan I am sharply increasing my chances of developing melanoma, which can be fatal if not caught in time. I have read the “Facts of Tanning” and understand the dangers of tanning beds and lying out in the sun.”
There has been overwhelming response to this challenge. Teachers feel that while maybe all students won’t keep their word at least the warning is out there and some will heed it.
Just recently the foundation announced that Waltham High School in Waltham Mass. is one of this year’s winners.