44-year-old Patricia Krentcil of New Jersey claims it’s all a big misunderstanding. When her 5 year old daughter, Anna, showed up at school with a rash on her face, the school nurse asked her what happened. The girl told her it was a sunburn from when she went to a tanning salon with her mother.
A tanning salon with her mother. She’s 5. Tanning beds are illegal in New Jersey for anyone under 14. Teenagers from 14-18 need their parents’ permission to use the beds.
The school nurse took no chances. She notified child services, who called the police. Patricia was arrested and charged with child endangerment, and was released on $25,000 bail.
Krentcil says the child wasn’t in the tanning bed at all and that she would never allow her child in the bed with her; the child simply waited at the salon while Krentcil used the bed. Anna’s sunburn was incidental, she said, from an afternoon outside in the garden. It’s all a big mistake, and she hopes to explain that to a judge at a court appearance today.
Either way, Krentcil isn’t going to win parent of the year. Putting her child in a tanning bed is truly abhorrent, given the increased risk for skin cancer if you get a sunburn at a young age, but leaving her child outside without proper sun protection isn’t exactly a great call either. We’ve all slipped up as parents, of course, but Krentcil herself is setting a wretched example for her daughter by abusing her skin this way – especially if her child accompanies her to the salon. Video of Krentcil shows her with extremely tanned, very dark skin — a sign of skin damage at the least, and a dangerous and life-threatening addiction to tanning at its worst.
With melanoma rates spiking in North America, largely due to the proliferation of tanning beds, their acceptability to the public at large becomes more baffling every single day. People believe that tanning gives them a “healthy” glow, when in fact it’s exactly the opposite: a suntan is a sign of damaged skin, skin at risk of premature aging, wrinkles and cancer. The popularity of overly-tanned personalities such as Snooki and the gang from Jersey Shore doesn’t help matters when trying to send a healthy message to youth.
Krentcil is scheduled to appear in court later today.
Photo: Police Handout