New Jersey Mom Arrested for Taking 6-Year-Old to Tanning Booth

Tanning devotee Patricia Krentcil says it's all a big misunderstanding.

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Police arrested a well-bronzed New Jersey woman they say brought her 6-year-old daughter into a tanning booth, causing the young girl to suffer burns.

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Patricia Krentcil, 44, was charged with second-degree child endangerment, although she says her daughter, Anna, was never exposed to the booth’s harmful UV rays and that the sunburn was a result of playing outside. The Nutley, N.J. mother told New York’s CBS 2 TV that she loves to tan. “I’ve been tanning my whole life, going to the beach, tanning salons and so forth,” she said, although she insisted she would never let her fair-skinned daughter accompany her into the tanning booth.

Krentcil told NBC 4 New York that her daughter accompanies her on errand runs, and that tanning is included in those errands, but emphasized she did not let her daughter join her in the tanning booth.

(MORE: Indoor Tanning Linked with Early Onset of Skin Cancer)

The controversy started when a school nurse noticed the burns, which Anna attributed to going tanning “with mommy.” The school then contacted child services. Officials suspected that Krentcil took the child into the tanning booth without the salon’s knowledge.

New Jersey law does not allow anyone younger than 14 to use tanning facilities due to the health risks. Teens older than 14 are allowed to go to salons with parental consent.

(MORE: Study Finds Rise in Skin Cancer Among Young Adults)

Anna’s father, Rich Krentcil, told NBC 4 New York that the claims were inaccurate.

“This whole big thing happened, and everyone got involved,” said Rich Krentcil. “It was 85 degrees outside, she got sunburned. That’s it. That’s all that happened.”

(MORE: California Bans Teens From Tanning Beds)