Chelsea Roff: Mother Arrested for Taking her 5-Year-Old Daughter Tanning

A mother in Nutley, NJ has been arrested for child endangerment after a school nurse called the police with concern about her severe suburn. But kids get sunburned all the time, right? What was the big deal?

When the child was asked about how she got so red, her response was:

“I went tanning with Mommy”

New Jersey law prohibits anyone under 14 from using tanning salons — and rightfully so, as many studies have show that tanning can not only damage the skin, but cause irrevocable mutations in your DNA. The mother, Patricia Krentcil, was taken to jail but is now free after posting a $2,500 cash bond.

Krentcil, whose own skin appears leathery and badly damaged from regular visits to a tanning salon, has pleaded not guilty to the child endangerment charges. She said her daughter got sunburned from playing outside on a recent warm day, not laying in a tanning bed. Krentcil admits that she takes her daughter with her to the salon, but would never do anything to jeopardize her daughter’s health.

“She’s 6 years old. Yes, she does go tanning with mommy, but not in the booth,” she told NBC New York. “It’s like taking your daughter to go food shopping. There’s tons of moms that bring their children in.”

There you have it. Nothing like a nice “let’s go get skin cancer!” date with Mommy.

Regardless of whether the accusations are true, I feel sad for both the child and the mother in this situation. The mom obviously has a very pathological relationship with tanning, and the child’s primary female role model is one who’s willing to sacrifice her health for beauty. When you’re a parent (or a sister, or a brother, or anyone really), your actions have an impact on more than just yourself.

Do you go tanning? What was your reaction to this story?

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About Chelsea Roff

Chelsea Roff is Managing Editor for Intent Blog. She is an author, speaker, and researcher writing about science, spirituality, women's health, and humanitarian issues. Visit her website to read past writings, watch video interviews, and see her teaching schedule. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Comments

  1. Not to be mean, but the mother does not look right. Lay off of the tanning beds. I worked at a place that banned you from even taking your kid into a room where a bed was being used, let alone letting the child tan. A good way to start them on the early melanoma track. Wrong!

  2. tough call. not on the child tanning issue (obviously not) or on this woman (who's face makes the story), but on how much attention we want to put our on intention to get closer to being like jerry springer. just ask dr phil, whom people took seriously at one time. Not being judgemental. I want to see her face more too. It sells tickets, i guess.