New report cites risks youths face when getting tattoos and body piercings

chicagotribune.com | 9/18/2017 | Staff
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Despite the growing popularity of tattoos and body piercings, some parents still suffer shock and dismay when their college freshman comes home for the first time with a slight modification.

Instead of surprise, parents should be educated, pediatricians say, and should talk over tattoo and piercing safety with their teens. Recognizing a void of information in that area, the American Academy of Pediatrics released its first report on tattoos and piercings Monday, warning parents and teens of rare but possible risks, and offering safety tips.

Lot - Times - Kids - College - Home

"A lot of times when we launch our kids off to college, they come home for Thanksgiving with a tattoo," said Dr. Cora Breuner, lead author of the report.

Although most states require a minimum age of 18, Breuner, a physician and professor of pediatrics and adolescent medicine at Seattle Children's Hospital, suggests parents and teens discuss tattoos and piercings before that, and that pediatricians bring up the subject for their high school-age patients.

Age - Illinois - Exceptions - Body - Piercings

The minimum age in Illinois is 18, but exceptions can be made for body piercings with parental approval.

Breuner first saw a need for guidance from the academy when she started to research body piercing facilities. About five years ago, Breuner's 18-year-old daughter came to her, asking to pierce her belly button.

Decision

"I was shocked because I couldn't help her make an informed decision," she said.

That's when Breuner, chair of the academy's committee on adolescents, decided to compile the report.

Report - Rate - Complications - Infection - Complications

The report explains how the rate of complications, mainly infection, is unknown but is believed to be rare. To avoid complications, the report advises teens to research a facility before getting a tattoo or piercing. Facilities should be clean and offer tips on how to care for a...
(Excerpt) Read more at: chicagotribune.com
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