From Ariana Grande to Miley Cyrus to Justin Bieber, it seems like most young celebrities nowadays are sporting multiple tattoos. Moreover, stars who choose to get inked are getting younger every year. There’s Paris Jackson, who just turned 20 in April 2018 and last year, the model/actress told Rolling Stone that she has 50 tattoos, some of which were acquired while she was underage. Such is the popularity of tattoos among young Hollywood that it’s no wonder that teenagers all across America are getting inked – with or without the consent of their parents.

As a response to the tattoo trend, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a set of guidelines outlining the different forms of body modifications, the potential health risks that one may experience because of them, and how parents should speak to their teenage children about tattoos or piercings. If you’ve got a teenager who has been begging you for his or her first tattoo, here’s what you and your child need to know about getting inked at a young age.

How to Safely and Legally get a Tattoo

In the report published in Sept. 2017, it was stated that although teens must be 18 to get a tattoo, regulations vary from state to state. For instance, the law states that it is illegal to tattoo minors in California, but in Hawaii, minors can get a tattoo as long as they can provide a written consent of a parent or a legal guardian. Being familiar with your state’s tattoo laws will help to ensure that the tattoo parlor of your choice is legit since it should operate within the state’s mandated rules and regulations.

It was also mentioned that before getting a tattoo, one must look for a facility that is regulated by the state and it should provide clients with clear instructions on the do’s and don’ts on how to care for the tattooed area. Parents of teens who are getting a tattoo should also make sure that their child’s immunizations are up to date which may help to protect them from infection.

What To Consider Before Getting Inked

Before giving your consent, it’s crucial to talk to your teen about the pros and cons of getting a tattoo. While the delicate cherry blossoms on their arm may remind them of an unforgettable trip or life event, it may limit their chances of getting hired when the time comes to get a job. The AAP report notes that 76% of 2,700 people interviewed believe that having a tattoo or a piercing may have a negative impact on their chances of getting a job. Most corporate positions tend to be on the conservative side, so a full sleeve tattoo or a neck tattoo may not be a good choice if your teen decides to pursue a career in law, medicine, or something similar in the future. If this is the case, a tattoo in a spot that can be covered up easily with clothing may be a good compromise.

Moreover, it is important to think long and hard before getting a tattoo as it is permanent and can be difficult and costly to erase. It can take several sessions of laser tattoo removal to get the pigment off the skin completely, and each session can cost anywhere from $49 to $300 per square inch of the treatment area.

Got All The Bases Covered? Proceed With Caution

Most teens may not be aware of all the ways that a tattoo can affect their health and their future, so it is crucial to guide your child carefully if he or she decides to get inked. Being open to discussion lessens the chances of your child getting a tattoo secretly, which may result in dire consequences should he or she end up getting inked by a non-licensed tattoo artist.

If you give your consent, it’s a good idea to accompany your teen and be there for the whole process—from choosing the design and tattoo location to the actual tattooing procedure. And if you end up getting one to match your teen, it may lead to a nice bonding experience that both of you won’t regret, as long as you keep the safety and legal guidelines in mind before getting inked.

Sources:

1. Paris Jackson: Life After Neverland, Rolling Stone, https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/paris-jackson-life-after-neverland-128510/

2. Tattoos, piercings move into mainstream but may carry medical, other risks, AAP News, http://www.aappublications.org/news/2017/09/18/Tattoo091817

3. Can My Teen Get a Body Piercing or Tattoo Without Me?, Very Well Family, https://www.verywellfamily.com/ages-for-body-piercing-and-tattooing-2611114

4. Modern Lawyer Style: Must You Conform To Get A Job? American Bar Association, https://abaforlawstudents.com/2016/09/01/must-you-conform-to-get-a-job/

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