New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Monday requiring teens to get parental consent for body piercings. The law applies to those under 18 who want a piercing somewhere other than their ears.
While previously New York law had no age limit on body piercings, the new law requires a parent's or guardian's permission before the piercing artist can do their job.
New York already had similar requirements for tattoos and tanning, so what prompted them to increase the restrictions on teen body piercings as well?
The real issue was health and safety, according to a statement by Governor Cuomo. Some 20% of body piercings result in an infection and people that receive body piercing have a risk of hepatitis.
These risks are decreased if parents know about the piercings, Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz, a co-sponsor of the bill, said in a public statement.
It's not enough that a minor shows up with a signed note from mom or dad. The law requires that the adult sign at the time of the piercing and in the presence of the shop owner or the piercing specialist.
States are required to minimize health and safety risks when possible and this measure does attempt to do that. While parental permission may create a burden on teens who want body piercings, similar restrictions on minors are generally found to be a permissible restraint on their freedom.
Shops will be required to ask teens for ID before piercing and will have to keep parent signatures on file for a year under the new law, reports NBC New York.
New York joins 31 other states with laws requiring parental consent before teens can get body piercings.