Underage Kids May Soon Have To Get Parental Permission For Anything But Ears

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Teens trying to get anything other than their ears pierced could soon be banned from doing so across New York State if their parents don’t sign-off on it for them.

Mychele Boylan didn’t ask her mom before getting her tongue pierced at 16, but a ban on body piecing for teens? She told CBS 2’s Ann Mercogliano on Thursday that would be impossible to enforce.

“Many kids get piercings without their parents. I think it’s still going to happen,” Boylan said.

At Kingdom Tattoos in the West Village, Jennifer Herrera said 50 percent of her customers are under 18. They come in and beg for piercings other than in their ears. Herrera told Mercogliano the youngest age of a customer without a parent that she’s seen was 15.

Herrera said her policy is, without parents’ consent, teens are turned away, but that’s by the store’s choice and not by any state law.

Now New York lawmakers, citing piercing complications like allergic reactions, want a bill passed that would ban body piercings other than ears if you’re under 18 and without a parent’s consent.

But try telling that to teens, who say piercings are all the rage.

“We’re allowed to have our own jobs now and we make our own money and we’re allowed to spend it on,” said 17-year-old Imani Teasley of Park Slope.

One piercing shop employee told Mercogliano that while her East Village shop won’t pierce without permission, results can be horrifying when teens get pierced elsewhere without a parent’s watchful eye.

“Teenagers come in with bloody ears, infected noses,” Tarren Wilson said.

Many parents said a permission slip would work.

“It’s a mistake kids make and are going to regret it down the road,” one parent said.

The bill has passed both houses. Now it will go to the governor’s desk, where he will either approve or veto. If the body piercing bill is signed into law it would require piercing studio owners to keep signed parental consent for minors on file for one year.

There is presently no minimum age for body piercing in New York State.

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