Is It Illegal to Let Your Child Get a Tattoo in Texas?
Parents like to think they have the ultimate say when it comes to decisions about their children. However, there is something that has to be regulated for the safety of the child.
LACK OF COMMON SENSE = BAD DECISIONS
It's common knowledge that a young child should not get a tattoo, unfortunately, one mother and tattoo artist did not get that memo. 33-year-old Crystal Thomas along with the tattoo artist Austin L. Smith was recently arrested in New York after tattooing a 10-year-old child.
THAT'S GONNA BE A HARD- NO!
It turns out New York and Texas have more in common than we assumed. Like New York, Texas has very strict tattoo regulations. In Texas, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to get a tattoo.
Local piercer, Chris Rodriguez owner of Tried and True Tattoos in Victoria, explained it is incredibly illegal for anyone under 18 years old to get a tattoo; if someone is caught tattooing a minor they can receive a Class B misdemeanor and child abuse charge.
Although some artists and shops take that risk, Rodriguez admitted "We're sticklers for rules; this is our livelihood, this is how we feed our family, it's not worth it."
In Texas, you must document everything. Before anyone gets a piercing or tattoo, they must fully complete the proper paperwork and present an ID; that paperwork is then kept on file for two years.
EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULES
While the law states no person under 18 in Texas could receive a tattoo, there are two very specific exceptions.
A tattoo artist is allowed to tattoo a minor if the tattoo is covering up:
- obscene or offensive language or symbols;
- gang-related names, symbols, or markings;
- drug-related names, symbols, pictures; or
- other words, symbols, or markings that the person's parent or guardian considers would be in the best interest of the person to cover
ARTISTS GET TO DECIDE
Above all, consent from the person's parent or guardian to cover the tattoo must be obtained. On top of regular paperwork, the artist must document the tattoo by taking before and after photos which will be kept on hand for future audits. Although, it is up to the artist and shop to decide whether they are willing to tattoo under those circumstances.
So next time you are thinking about getting a piercing or tattoo, take a good look at seeing which spots are sticking to the rules and which studios are not. Also, if your young child wants a tattoo, maybe splurge on a temporary tattoo from a coin machine.