It's not on to tattoo a 14 year old? So WWYD?

(53 Posts)
GilbGeekette Mon 15-Oct-12 14:53:30

One of DDs best friends proudly showed me her new tattoo yesterday. It is 100% an actual tattoo - has the reddishness and general slightly raised edges of a new tattoo so isn't a henna one or a transfer. DD is 14, as is her friend! Ok, at a push, they might get away with looking 16, but not 18! Friend has been tattooed by the dodgy piercer/tattooist locally, who has pierced the noses, bellybuttons, whatever of many of her 14 yo mates.

I appreciate that friend is not my DD so it's not really my business, but I suspect her mother wouldn't be over the moon. My DD is also having a hell of a time - her father is dying of cancer and her friends are really supporting her and generally being darlings to her. Ergo, I don't want to cause a rift at an exceedingly emotional and fraught time.

However, I am raging at the irresponsibility of the tattooist. WIBU to ring Trading Standards (or someone? Not sure who?) and report this? As an aside, I had piercings in my yoof, and still have a tattoo so it's not being anti body modification smile it's about laws being there for a reason...

NatashaBee Mon 15-Oct-12 15:00:12

If they slacken the rules to tattoo 14 year olds i expect they aren't that tight on hygiene either. Trading standards would be a good start, or maybe the council environmental health department?

NymphadoraTonks Mon 15-Oct-12 15:03:11

I would report the tattooist, your DD's friend and her family don't need to know it was you. They probably won't even find out. It could be anybody reporting him/her if they're going around tattooing and piercing 14 year old children!

PinkFairyDust Mon 15-Oct-12 15:04:50

Can you speak to dd friend and ask her does her mum know?

Tell you dd that you don't want her getting one until she is 18 and explain why

And I would ring trading standards if you know the place for certain where she got it done

Maybe also speak to the school to say what is going on - they may have a talk to her year group about it all.

monkeysbignuts Mon 15-Oct-12 15:06:12

omg that's awful!
I am a tattoo lover but 14 is way too young. is it possible her mum gave permission? even so the tatooist should have refused to do it.
trading standards is probably your best bet, I would almost certainly say their books will be a mess as well as hygiene.

MrsKeithRichards Mon 15-Oct-12 15:07:25

Trading standards for a start.

GilbGeekette Mon 15-Oct-12 15:14:00

DD is very aware of my feelings about it. No tattoos until 18, and then at a place vetted by me grin Friend's mum does not know. I suspect from friends face when she saw my face, she's regretting telling me.

DD has a tragus piercing which I paid an arm and a leg for at a good piercing salon and I had to be there, in person, to sign the consent form. Whilst this caused [eye roll] because DD wanted it to be just her and her mates, I explained about hygiene, blood borne viruses and scared her something shocking.

Can't find anything on Trading Standards website, other than something about tattooing pigs (!) But a search of my local council has revealed that they are responsible for issuing licences to piercing/tattooing salons. So I'm going to give them a call. I'm 100% certain of where she had it done, because she told me. Hadn't thought about school, might call them and give them a heads up.

In fairness, it's not a 'bad' tattoo. It's an inoffensive yin/yang symbol, nicely drawn at the small of her back. But still shock

Isn't it illegal to tattoo someone under 18 in this country?
The rules/law are different for tattoos and piercings iirc, piercings aren't illegal as such but require parental consent but tattooing is actually illegal for a minor (I think anyway - all the legit tattooists round here insist on ID for anyone who looks like they might be under 18)

McHappyPants2012 Mon 15-Oct-12 16:00:33

I would phone 101 and ask the police advice.

I love tattoo but 14 is way to young

5ThingsUnderTheBed Mon 15-Oct-12 16:06:17

I would be telling her mum before anyone else.

Mrsjay Mon 15-Oct-12 16:11:52

Report the tattooist to the police and the council they can revoke their license and he can be prosecuted, there was a mobile piercer going round piercing 11 yr olds belly buttons and noses in their van also did a few dogy Tatts to he got a prison sentence,

GilbGeekette Mon 15-Oct-12 16:14:32

Pom - yes. Legal age is 18, with ID if there is any doubt. Have spoken to environmental health - need to put it in writing but they sounded... unsurprised. So have composed a letter and sent it off. It's not ideal, but at least I've done something.

101 is a new number that I keep seeing mentioned here. I'm off to ask Google what it is for future reference!

FutureNannyOgg Mon 15-Oct-12 16:14:45

It is entirely illegal. It actually qualifies as ABH as an under 18 cannot consent to tattooing. Some dodgy tattooists claim it is OK for 16 year olds with parental consent, but that just makes the parent an accessory to ABH.
If there was proof, he would definitely be shut down, and face criminal charges. With no direct proof he could still be inspected and I would bet there are other things not right going on there. If you don't follow the law about who to tattoo, then why worry about hygeine, safe disposal of sharps etc.
I would call the police non-emergency for advice, I have a feeling Environmental Health inspect tattoo parlours, but I'm not sure, the police would point you in the right direction

MmeLindor Mon 15-Oct-12 16:15:16

Report the tattooist, definitely.

Would it be a criminal offence? You could ask the police for advice on it.

I'd sit the girls down and tell them that you feel obliged to tell DD's friend's mum, but don't want to cause trouble, because you know that she is being very supportive at the moment. Tell her that if it were DD and another mum withheld info like that, that you would be very upset.

And stress that if she comes clean and admits it, it will be less hurtful to her mum than if someone else tells her, or she finds out by accident.

McHappyPants2012 Mon 15-Oct-12 16:15:23

101 is a non emergency police number.

GilbGeekette Mon 15-Oct-12 16:16:07

MrsJay - 11 year olds? Thats even worse sad

Mrsjay Mon 15-Oct-12 16:16:30

Yes it is an offence to tattoo anybody under 18 I think they can get it done at 16 (notsure) with parental consent,

GilbGeekette Mon 15-Oct-12 16:17:24

MMeLindor. Ahhh - that's what I needed. Some way to not cause a rift and to give friend a way out before I talked to her mum. You hit the nail on the head - many thanks thanks

MmeLindor Mon 15-Oct-12 16:18:05

And sorry to hear about your DD's dad (presumably your ex?).

Mrsjay Mon 15-Oct-12 16:18:06

MrsJay - 11 year olds? Thats even worse

It was awful goodness knows where they got the money from but the guy was really dodgy anyway he had been fired from the tattoo shop he worked at and he was going round putting holes and Ink on teenagers and 11 yr olds shock

Report. It's 100% an offence to tattoo a minor. Take it to the papers etc.

queenrollo Mon 15-Oct-12 17:03:32

Mrsjay - just to clarify for you, the legal age for getting a tattoo is 18. It is NOT legal at 16 even with parental consent.

FellatioNelson Mon 15-Oct-12 17:08:27

I'd be very hmm about any tattooist who said they'd checked and the client had said they were over 18. how hard is it to ask for ID? They do it in supermarkets for alcohol and cigarettes so why not with something this permanent and invasive? If the child has parental consent then I think the parent should have to go along with them and agree in person and show that they are the parent through ID.

katkouta Mon 15-Oct-12 17:10:02

Report, I had a tattoo at 13 sad I didn't know any better at that age. The tattooist I went to is no longer there but I'm still angry with him. There is no way I looked 18 at 13...

Tiredmumno1 Mon 15-Oct-12 17:34:02

trading standards consumer helpline

Give them a ring for advice

Mrsjay Mon 15-Oct-12 17:34:10

the legal age for getting a tattoo is 18. It is NOT legal at 16 even with parental consent.

Thank you for that I wasn't sure ,

Pinkforever Mon 15-Oct-12 17:58:36

so a 14 year old now has a tramp stamp? nice.i have a tattoo btw but that is what they are known as. i would be telling her parents asap. is a tragus piercing the one through the tongue? again why would you let a child do that to themselves? urgh.just.urgh...

CointreauVersial Mon 15-Oct-12 18:08:20

I thought anyone tattooing an under-18 could be prosecuted for assault.

FryOneGhoulishGhostlyManic Mon 15-Oct-12 18:18:57

Agree with others to report tattooist. I am 44, had one done last week, and my tattooist still wanted to see my ID.

My tattooist is very hot against irresponsible tattooists, especially scratchers.

GilbGeekette Mon 15-Oct-12 18:19:13

Pinkforever -Tragus is ear. Not tongue. That's banned until she is an adult, at which point I cease to have a say smile

Have spoken to environmental health who administer licences for tattooists and were v helpful. Will speak with friend first, in the manner suggested by MmeLindor for reasons set out in OP. Thanks for all the input folks, it's good to get a kick up the arse to do something rather than just having a rant wink

EuroShopperEnergyDrink Mon 15-Oct-12 18:27:01

She may have possibly used a fake ID. With someone else's debit or student card to lend weight to the argument.

I know lots of people who got their first tattoos at around 14/15 in this way.

And I know it's obviously illegal- but if she looks about 18, and has an ID that looks like her and all over things necessary to back it up, you can't really launch open fire on the tattoo shop..

EuroShopperEnergyDrink Mon 15-Oct-12 18:27:13

*over things? OTHER THINGS.

FutureNannyOgg Mon 15-Oct-12 18:35:51

Euro, a responsible tattooist will keep a photocopy of the ID with the signed consent forms on file, so if EH investigate they can prove that a believable ID was shown.
Almost all tattooists have their own photocopier to copy and resize designs, so it's not difficult to keep all the paperwork legit.

FryOneGhoulishGhostlyManic Mon 15-Oct-12 18:49:50

I had to sign to confirm age, name, etc and provide a legit contact number.

EuroShopperEnergyDrink Mon 15-Oct-12 21:12:21

I realise that- but if all paperwork was signed, ID was provided and there was no cause for concern, I don't know where that leaves the girl if OP decides to go the police.

I know that in certain states of America the person who has 'deceived' the tattoo parlour, even if a 'minor', is held culpable in cases like this.

InSPsFanjoNoOneHearsYouScream Mon 15-Oct-12 23:01:21

I had a tattoo at 15 but with parental consent. I didn't think it was possible to get one with that if your are under 18

LST Mon 15-Oct-12 23:07:39

I had all of my tattoos under 18 bar one at 18 in faliraki my first was 15 in Bulgaria and my second was when I was 16 in my mates bedroom by his dad.

doinmummy Mon 15-Oct-12 23:13:37

I was shocked to find out that children do not need parental consent to have a piercing, except for nipples and fanjo.

StuntGirl Tue 16-Oct-12 00:03:05

Yep, illegal under the age of 18. I recently reported a similar instance; I contacted the local council as they issue licences. They're currently investigating.

GhostofMammaTJ Tue 16-Oct-12 04:14:21

My DD age 17 was telling me that she wants a tattoo and that she can get one with parental consent. I said 'Good luck asking your Dad' (who she lives with) and she said she already had. Nice try DD!!!

shemademedoit Tue 16-Oct-12 04:28:10

I had my first tattoo at 14 using a friends non-photo driving licence (that's how old I am) for id. Years later it cost £7000 to get removed. Wish someone had stopped me but I knew better....

Kincardine Tue 16-Oct-12 04:40:14

I'd never want my soon 14 years girl to have a tat. It's way to young to make a choice about that.

However, you said, "I appreciate that friend is not my DD so it's not really my business, but I suspect her mother wouldn't be over the moon."

Personally, I'd leave it down to the girl's mother or father to decide.

Mrsjay Tue 16-Oct-12 08:59:56

My younger sister got her belly button done at 15 without consent Im not sure where , anyway she hid it from my mum for ages It ended up going septic EWWW she came to see me one day with a pus filled belly button , I had to take it out clean it and take her to the doctor for antibiotics . It is really dangerous teens getting things done behind parents back and do I do think tattoists and piercers should be more responsible,

The phrase 'tramp stamp' makes me cringe, it's so misogynistic sad it's not what they are 'known as', it's what vile people call them hmm

FryOneGhoulishGhostlyManic Tue 16-Oct-12 11:32:30

MrsJay the good tattooists/piercers ARE responsible. It's the ones doing piercings/tattoos on underage people who aren't responsible and giving others a bad name.

And if they're willing to do underage people you have to look at all the other stuff they'll be willing to shortcut on, eg hygiene, aftercare, insurance, etc, all the stuff my own tattooist is so careful about.

Dds friend's mum took her to get her belly button pierced at age 14. I was shock, DD was [eurgh].

BloodRedAlienReflux Tue 16-Oct-12 11:53:09

Yes, do something, some twat tattooed me when i was 15, my boyfriends name shock for ....... £1. I had to live with that for years, fucking irresponsible twat.

GilbGeekette Tue 16-Oct-12 12:07:29

BloodRed - it could be a lot worse if it wasn't actually an ok tattoo. By which I don't mean it was ok to tattoo her!! Anyway, it's in the hands of environmental health now.

Wrt her mum being told: I sat DD and friend down last night and talked to them. DDs friend is being very supportive of her at this very stressful time so I thanked her for this (and said how mature she was being etc) then took a deep breath and explained that even though DD had begged me to stay out of it, I'm not happy to collude/be complicit in something that her mum doesn't know about. I explained that if a mum had kept something about DD from me, I'd be very unhappy, and that parents of teenagers have to stick together wink I also said to friend that eventually her mum would find out and that she'd be better off taking the pain now. It's not like she can take the tattoo away after all...

Happily, I'm seeing her mum on Friday, so I've given her a timeframe to work in. I've told her that if her mum doesn't say anything, I'll assume she hasn't told her, at which point I will. I think I've lost my cool mum reputation

BloodRedAlienReflux Wed 17-Oct-12 10:05:05

Nice one Gilb! What did environmental health say?

MaryZed Wed 17-Oct-12 10:15:20

ds got a tattoo at 15. I was very pissed off at the idea, especially since he had managed to find a couple of really dodgy places to do it for him and I knew he was determined to go through with it, regardless of how dodgy they were.

In the end I took him to a "reputable" place and signed that he was 16, even though they knew (and I knew the knew) he wasn't (the law was 16 with parental permission here at the time, I think it's 18 now).

His situation was a bit different though. He has Asperger's and had decided to have an rip tattoo for his best friend who had just killed himself. ds was grieving, he was unable to cope at all with the grief, and had decided this was the only thing he could do "for his friend" and would have done it himself with a needle if he had to.

It's the only time I have ever condoned one of my children breaking the law, and it was because I felt I had no choice.

And I'm still amazed the guy did it for me. And would be furious if dd got one just for fun.

toomuchmonthatendofthemoney Wed 17-Oct-12 10:38:05

Well done glib glad to hear you've done the best thing.

GilbGeekette Wed 17-Oct-12 10:48:20

BloodRed - I've had to write a letter detailing my concerns which they will then 'follow up'. Whatever that means! They didn't sound too surprised - this particular place does have a bit of a rep locally so I hope that they'll visit and do... something? Fine toothcomb of books, sterilization procedures, autoclaves whatever. I know that there will always be dodgy places but I'm very good at ranting then not doing anything. MN is making me better at actually walking the walk, not just talking the talk!

MaryZed - that's such a lovely thing for your son to do and you to support (even though it might not have felt that way at the time?) I'm a bit teary at the thought; I got my tatt at 22 to remember an ex-boyfriend who took his own life. 13 years on I still feel like it was the right thing to do.

MaryZed Wed 17-Oct-12 10:53:42

ds is 18 now, and has no regrets. He feels he is the only one who still remembers his friend - he feels that everyone else has forgotten and moved on (as teenagers do), but is still very glad he got the tattoo.

I hope yours do follow up - whatever about an rip tattoo, the thought of 14 year old girls getting their current boyfriends name, or One Direction or something that they will have grown out of in a year is horrible.

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