Page last updated at 14:48 GMT, Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Warning over child piercing and tattoo ban

Rose tattoo
Children are not allowed to have tattoos in Guernsey

It is illegal for children to get tattoos and body piercing, Guernsey's Health and Social Services Department has reiterated.

The move follows news of a 14-year-old girl who was suspended from school after getting her nose pierced.

It is illegal in the island for anyone under 18 to have a tattoo or piercing, except a lower lobe ear piercing.

The department said the law was designed to prevent children from making decisions they could regret.

'Mental side'

Nick Dray, from Black Star Tattoo, said young people needed to think carefully before being tattooed.

"While there's no actual physical reason why they can't get a tattoo, there's the mental side - maybe they haven't thought it through about jobs and careers.

"Also, a lot of youngsters get tattoos that they end up regretting."

In a statement, the department said anyone carrying out any form of skin piercing, which includes electrolysis and acupuncture as well as tattooing and piercing, must be registered with it.

It said skin piercing carried a number of health risks if not done in an appropriate and safe manner and added that there were also risks associated with the inappropriate disposal of used or waste materials.

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