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February 11, 2013

Law Requires Parent or Guardian's Consent for Body Piercing of Minors

OSWEGO - As of October 28, 2012, a new law took effect that prohibits body piercing on a person under 18 years of age unless the person provides the body piercing establishment with written consent from a parent or legal guardian.

The parent or legal guardian must sign a New York State Department of Health consent form in the presence of the owner of the body art establishment or in the presence of the body artist. The written consent form expires 12 months from the date it is signed.

The new law applies to piercing of any part of the body, except the ear.

Body piercing carries health risks such as infection and blood-borne disease transmission, as well as allergic reactions, prolonged bleeding, swelling, scarring and general discomfort.

"Since body piercings can often result in infection and a permanent scar, it seems logical that parents should be in involved in the decision," said Jiancheng Huang, public health director for the Oswego County Health Department. "This law will help bring awareness to both parents and children of the potential risks of piercings and help them make informed decisions together."

The new law pertaining to body piercing does not change laws governing tattooing. It is a violation of Section 260.21 of New York State Penal Law to tattoo minors under the age of 18, regardless of parental consent.

To report a violation of the Penal Law, for tattooing a minor under age, contact a local law enforcement agency. To report a violation of PHL Article 4A, for body piercing a minor without parental permission, contact the Oswego County Health Department.

For information on regulations for body piercing, tanning or tattooing, call the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3557 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3557 or visit the New York State Department of Health's Web site at http://www.health.ny.gov/community/body_art/.

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