Senate Gives Final Passage to Bill Requiring Minors to Obtain Parental Permission for Body Piercing

June 13, 2012

Anyone Under 18 Would Need A Parent’s Approval Before Receiving Non Ear-Piercing 

The New York State Senate today gave final legislative passage to a bill (S7446) sponsored by Senator Joe Robach (R-C-I, Rochester), that would require minors to obtain consent from a parent or guardian for unemancipated persons who wish to receive body piercings, other than piercing one’s ears.

“I think this will be very consistent with existing law, and something that will be supported by parents across the state,” Senator Robach said.  “As body piercings can often result in infection and a permanent scar, it seems logical that parents should be involved in the decision.”

Of the people with body piercings, more than a third received their first piercing before the age of 18. Body piercings are well-documented to have possible adverse health effects. Some studies have shown complications arising in 25 percent of all cases. These complications include allergic reactions, skin infections, scarring, and general discomfort. 

Previously, there was no state law establishing any age restrictions on body piercing. While some studios may require written consent before piercing persons under the age 18, many others do not.  When enacted, this law will be consistent with state laws requiring residents to be at least 18 years old to get a tattoo. 

“Under current law, any unemancipated person could come home with a body piercing,” Senator Robach said.  “This bill would help educate both parents and children of the potential risks of piercings and help them make informed decisions together.” 

“This bill will ensure that parents have input when a young person is considering body piercing,” Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said. “It’s about protecting the health of our children and helping them make the right decision.” 

This bill previously passed the Assembly and will be delivered to the Governor for his consideration.