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  Life   Health  20 Aug 2018  Parents worried about their teens getting tattoos: Study

Parents worried about their teens getting tattoos: Study

Published : Aug 20, 2018, 1:23 pm IST
Updated : Aug 20, 2018, 1:23 pm IST

Parents said that they were very concerned about negative health effects like infections.

Representational Image. (Photo: Pexels)
 Representational Image. (Photo: Pexels)

Washington: Getting a tattoo for teenagers is a fad these days, in contrast their parents are concerned about the negative health effects, social acceptance, and their child's professional career, a new study reveals.

According to a poll conducted in USA, 78% of parents had a clear answer when asked how they would react if their own teen wanted a tattoo- absolutely not. However, another 1 in 10 parents thought a tattoo would be okay as a reward, to mark a special occasion or if the tattoo could be hidden.

Many parents said that they have already faced these types of conversations, with a quarter saying their teen has asked about a tattoo, according to the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health at the University of Michigan.

Roughly half of the parents said that they were very concerned about negative health effects, such as infection, scarring or transmission of diseases, such as hepatitis or HIV, through unsanitary needles.

Some of them were also very concerned that employers might judge or stereotype their teen unfavorably if they had a tattoo, while 24 percent were very concerned that a tattoo would reflect badly on the parents themselves. The most common concern among 68 percent of parents was future regret.

"Many parents agree that tattoos are a form of self-expression but worry that teens may not consider potential health risks, how a tattoo may impact them professionally or the chance that as they age and mature, they may regret getting a permanent tattoo," says poll co-director Gary Freed.

The national report which is based on responses from 1,018 parents with at least one child ages 13-18, suggests that a substantial number of parents have already addressed the subject of tattoos. About 27% of parents of teens aged 16-18 years and 11% of parents of those aged 13-15 years said their teen asked them for their permission to get a tattoo. While 5% of parents indicated that their teen had already gotten a tattoo and 32% of parents had a tattoo themselves.

Whereas, 63% also said that they considered tattoos a form of self-expression, similar to dying hair or clothing choice. However, parents polled strongly in support of state laws requiring parental consent for tattoos for children under 18 years.

Tattoos and piercings among young people are becoming more mainstream and that pediatricians need to be prepared to discuss potential health risks with adolescents, suggested a 2017 report by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The report cited a Pew Research Center study that said about 38 percent of young people aged between 18 and 29 have at least one tattoo.

"In addition to doing their own research and having conversations at home, parents may encourage their teens to talk to their doctor if they ask for a tattoo," Freed said.

Tags: tattoos, parenting, psychology, wellbeing