A 14-year-old schoolgirl in Wales, UK has suffered first degree burns over most of her body after only 19 minutes in an unmanned tanning salon. Kirsty McRae ended up on a drip in hospital with 70 per cent burns.
She had put Ģ1 into the coin-operated sunbed at the walk-in salon, but after four minutes Kirsty felt she wasn't getting tanned enough so paid Ģ3 for another 15 minutes.
AdvertisementShe left the salon in pain and was rushed into hospital four hours later suffering from some horrific burns.
Doctors put her on a drip and administered oxygen while they rehydrated her.
Environmental health officers were on Thursday carrying out an investigation at the Laxtan salon in Barry, South Wales.
Kirsty's mother, Jill McRae, 49, admitted her daughter should not have been in the salon because she is under 16, but said there is nothing to stop young people from using them.
Mrs McRae, a health and safety officer, said: "Kirsty is partly responsible for what has happened to her.
"But it just beggars belief that anyone can put money into a slot and do this amount of damage to themselves.
"These sunbeds and unmanned salons pose an enormous risk to all potential users."
Kirsty, from Barry, currently has to apply lotion every few hours to soothe the burns.
She said: "I was feeling pale and just wanted a tan - I had no idea they were so dangerous.
"It was my first time using a sunbed and after four minutes I couldn't tell any difference.
"I put another Ģ3 in the slot but as soon as I'd finished I knew something was wrong."
Julie Barratt, director of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health in Wales, said: "We have been calling for unmanned sun tanning salons to be banned for some time.
"As this unfortunate case demonstrates, there is no effective control over who uses such facilities and how they are used."
British Medical Association spokesman John Jenkins said: "We do not recommend the use of tanning devices for cosmetic purposes because of the potential risks to health associated with their use.
"Unmanned, coin-in-the-slot sun bed machines are particularly bad."
James Hadley, who owns Laxtan, said: "I'm upset to hear about the incident but I operate within the law.
"It's unfortunate someone chose to ignore the warnings about sun beds.
"I have posters all over the shop and on the doors."
He said a member of staff is present every day between 3pm and 4pm and 7pm and 9pm.