The police were alerted by the child’s school nurse after she saw the tattoo on the inside of the child's forearm.
A 10-year-old boy from New York had his name permanently tattooed on the inside of his forearm in large block letters. When the child went to see his school nurse to get Vaseline for his tattoo, the school authorities called the police. Crystal Thomas, 33, the child's mother, and the tattoo artist, Austin Smith, 20, were both arrested. According to People, local authorities claim the child informed his mother before getting the tattoo. However, Thomas told The New York Times that it was a misunderstanding as she had mistakenly believed the boy was asking for permission to get a temporary tattoo. She went on to emphasize that she supports age restrictions and that "no little child should get tattooed." Thomas has been charged with endangering the welfare of the child.
Last month, a 10-year-old boy walked into the nurse’s office of his elementary school and asked for some Vaseline. He wanted to rub it onto his new tattoo. The nurse called the police. https://t.co/GfHHplPFnD— NYT Metro (@NYTMetro) November 13, 2022
Meanwhile, Smith—the unlicensed tattoo artist who inked the inside of the child's forearm—was charged with dealing unlawfully with a child, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison. He described it as the worst mistake of his life and expressed deep regret over tattooing the youngster. When the child approached him with the request to get a tattoo, he assumed minors could get tattoos as long as they had their parent's permission, Smith said. Thomas and Smith were released on an appearance ticket.
The 10-year-old's tattooed arm sparked outrage on news websites and social media. Getting a tattoo before the age of 18 in the state of New York is a violation of Section 260.21 of the New York Penal Law, regardless of parental consent. "It is a permanent mark or a symbol you are putting on your body, and I don't think kids under 18 have that kind of agency to make a decision," said Dr. Cora Bruener, a pediatrician and professor at the University of Washington Medical Center's Seattle Children's Hospital. "We need to look at these laws again."
ICYMI: A mother and a tattoo artist in New York are facing charges after a 10-year-old boy was allowed to get a large, permanent tattoo on his body.— 6 News WOWT (@WOWT6News) October 23, 2022
Details: https://t.co/PUWypiPaWD pic.twitter.com/HLXwQ45dL4
According to ICT, tattoos have been a part of New York culture since the Iroquois, who believed that tattoos would protect them from evil and provide healing powers. However, in 1961, the art of tattooing was prohibited due to a Hepatitis B outbreak as the health department blamed tattooing for the disease's spread, reports CBS News. Tattoos were made legal again in 1997. When it comes to minors getting tattoos, each state has its own set of rules, and 38 states have laws prohibiting piercing and tattooing without parental permission. In states such as Ohio and Texas, anyone under the age of 18 who wants a tattoo or body piercing must have the permission of a parent or guardian. Many parents have differing views on children under the age of 18 getting tattoos; some believe it is dangerous, while others believe it is a positive form of expression that improves self-image and self-worth.
Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Michael Ciaglo