Senator Joe Robach Sponsors Body Piercing Bill
New York State Senator Joe Robach of Rochester has sponsored a bill (S.7446 legislating increased restrictions on body piercings for those under the age of 18. The bill, which passed the New York State Assembly in early June, would require anyone under the age of 18 to receive parental consent before obtaining a body piercing. If passed, a parent or guardian would have to sign a written consent form in front of a shop owner or piercing specialist before the body piercing is performed.
While it is illegal in New York State to give anyone under the age of 18 a tattoo, state law currently has no age restrictions on piercings. However, body piercings, such as nose, tongue, and navel piercings, are well-documented to have possible adverse health effects. Complications are relatively frequent in body piercings, occurring in 25% of all cases. Such complications include allergic reactions, skin infections, scarring, and general discomfort.
As current state law stands, children can obtain body piercings without their parents' consent. In fact, of the people with body piercings, more than a third received their first piercing before reaching the age of 18. As a result of this gap in state law, many children, unbeknownst to themselves and their parents, expose themselves to the health risks associated with body piercing. Senator Robach's legislation remedies this issue and mitigates the dangerous effects of body piercing by ensuring that parents and guardians are involved in their child's decision to receive a body piercing.
Speaking about the proposed legislation, Senator Robach said, "I think parents across the state would applaud this bill. In the case of infections, allergic reactions - parents are responsible for their kid's health care, and this would just give them a tool to protect and make them part of the decision-making process."