Body piercings in New York got a bit stricter this week, after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law prohibiting minors to obtain the modifications without parental consent.
The body piercing law won’t go into effect for 90 days — but under current laws, it is illegal to tattoo a minor under the age of 18 without permission from a parent or guardian. No such laws existed for body piercing, an activity that can carry risks of blood-borne illness, piercing rejection or permanent scarring if the piercing heals incorrectly, is not cared for afterwards, or is done improperly.
In a statement about the new body piercing legislation in New York, Gov. Cuomo explained:
“Body piercing can result in severe health risks, and it is our obligation as New Yorkers and parents to make sure that our teens are taking every precaution to remain healthy and safe.”
Republican New York Senator Joseph Robach sponsored the bill, which passed overwhelmingly. Robach says the sometimes permanent consequences of body piercings done on minors cannot be underscored:
“As body piercings can often result in infection and a permanent scar, it seems logical that parents should be involved in the decision.”
“This law will help educate both parents and children of the potential risks of piercings and help them make informed decisions together.”
In addition to the possibility of contracting serious illnesses like hepatitis from improperly done body piercings, research in the publication Journal of Clinical Dermatology reveals that as many as 20% of body piercings result in a subsequent infection.