Body Piercing Bill Would Increase Age Restriction to 18
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Piercing can be seen as an art form. For those who chose to express themselves this way, piercing comes with responsibility.
"Because if you're not going to take care of your piercing the way you should, there's a risk of infection,” said Courtney Colon.
Colon works at Extreme Graphix in Greece. She says the upkeep is so important; piercings are restricted for those under 16. Those 13 to 15 can only get certain body parts pierced if they have parental permission.
"That way the parent at home, since they came in with the child to get the piercing, is going to enforce things. 'Hey, did you clean that today. Hey, did you get that taken of today,’” Colon said.
A new bill making its way through the state legislature would increase age restrictions to 18. That would mirror laws currently in place for tattoos.
"I can't take an x-ray of someone under 18 without parental consent. I think this goes way beyond an x-ray,” said Dr. Lee Pollan.
Pollan, of the Eastman Institute for Oral Health, says piercings of the lip and tongue are particularly dangerous.
"The oral cavity is laden with bacteria. The potential for an infection that can be life threatening is certainly of consideration," Pollan said.
According to a recent study more than 3,000 people visit the emergency room, each year, with oral injuries related to piercings, and almost 75 percent of them are between the ages of 14 and 17. Pollan says a change in the law won't change the risks, but it will create more of a safety net for kids.
"If a minor shows up to have this procedure done, without either having carefully thought it through or have the advice or input of parent, certainly significant damage can occur,” said Pollan.
Courtney is confident piercings are safe, if taken care of. Now a mother herself, she's in favor of increased parental consent.
"I got my first piercing when I was 15, so having my daughter now thinking about doing something like that when she's 15, I think it's a good proposal to have,” Colon said.
The State Assembly passed this bill last week. The sponsor in the Senate, Greece Republican Joe Robach, says he's confident the bill will hit the Senate floor and be approved before this legislative session ends June 21st.