Tanned mom taking heat

by Stephanie Saccente

A New Jersey woman has recently been charged for placing her 6-year-old daughter in a tanning bed. Mother, Patricia Krentcil, recently pled not guilty in Newark Municipal Court to a second-degree child endangerment charge.

The kindergartener’s school notified police earlier last month after Krentcil’s daughter complained to school officials of a bothersome itch caused by sunburn. When questioned how she received the burn, the daughter responded that she went to a tanning salon with her mother.

“I think this just goes to show how messed up society really is; you have the shows like ‘Toddlers & Tiaras,’ and now mothers are thinking that tanning and putting makeup on their child is acceptable,” Laura Graybill, a freshman and journalism student, said.

Krentcil, whose skin is bronze-colored from her regular tanning salon sessions, said her daughter’s burn came from the sun on an unusually warm day. She said she would never take her young daughter into the tanning booth. The owner of City Tropics Salon in Nutley, N.J. where the incident supposedly occurred, said employees told him the young girl remained outside with her father and brother and never saw the child go into the tanning booth. In the state of New Jersey, anyone younger than 14 is refrained from using a tanning salon bed.

Stephanie Ropp, a liberal studies student, feels strongly about the Krentcil case. Although she openly admits to using a tanning bed in the past, she recognizes it is not healthy for a child so young.

“Patricia Krentcil should face legal charges. It is not only illegal, the daughter is too young to know how bad it is for you and obviously had no idea what was going on. The fact that she has burns and is claiming she went in the bed should be reason alone to press charges,” Ropp said.

While pleading not guilty for this particular case, this is not Krentcil’s first run-in with the law. She was found guilty of theft by deception in Camden County in 2000 and has had multiple civil judgments filed against her in the states of New Jersey and Illinois. Krentcil is currently free for the latest incident on a $2,500 cash bond but is scheduled to appear in court again on June 4.