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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 26 February, 2003, 15:18 GMT
Mother challenges body piercing rules

By Jackie Storer
BBC News Online political staff

Daniel Trindle and his brother Joseph
Daniel hoped to pursue a career in music
A mother whose teenage son died after having his lip pierced is calling on the government to introduce tougher controls on body piercing.

Promising musician Daniel Hindle, 17, died in December last year of septicaemia - two months after he visited a Sheffield studio to have a ring fitted to his lip.

The A-level student, who had battled against a potentially fatal heart condition since birth, fell ill just days after the piercing.

Now his mother Christina Anderson hopes a House of Commons debate on Thursday will prompt the government to ensure local authorities take charge of regulating the body piercing industry.

The mother-of-six claims her son was never asked detailed questions about his state of health, and she is angry that as he was under 18, she was never asked to give permission for the procedure.

Daniel was a very bright, intelligent young man ... and this is such a waste
Christina Anderson
She says there should be warning signs of the health risks at piercing studios and better understanding of the consequences of infections.

"If I can prevent one family from facing the heartbreak we have suffered, then Dan didn't die in vain," she told BBC News Online.

Ms Anderson, a voluntary worker, said it was only during a chance conversation with her son that she learned that he wanted to have his eyebrow pierced.

Typical teenager

"I didn't take him seriously," she said. "You know what teenagers are like.

"I just said, 'what do you want to put a hole in your face?' Because he didn't go on about it, I didn't take any notice.

"I didn't think it was a serious procedure. I thought it was simple, straightforward and everyone was having it done.

Daniel's mum Christina Anderson
Christina: 'I've lost my best friend'
"When he came home I was shocked to see he'd had his lip pierced. He was very proud of it.

"It was swollen, but Daniel wasn't concerned."

But within days of having the piercing, Daniel fell ill. He stopped eating, went to bed and Ms Anderson called a doctor, who she says, claimed Daniel had gastroenteritis.

Another doctor eventually admitted him to hospital. He spent two weeks in intensive care at Sheffield's Northern General Hospital, but his on-going heart problem meant he needed to be transferred to its coronary care unit.

Tighter regulations

Daniel, lead guitarist in Sheffield group Jack Names the Planets, was later moved to Papworth Hospital where doctors hoped that a heart transplant might help.

Daniel was too weak for surgery and he spent his last days at Leeds General Infirmary. He died of septicaemia on 21 December, last year.

Ms Anderson, from Richmond in Sheffield, is adamant in her belief that the septicaemia was the result of the lip piercing, and she is now anxious to get government support for greater regulation of piercing studios.

Labour MP Meg Munn
Munn: Wants body piercing regulations tightened
She and her family have set up a website, called Danaid, to highlight the problems of body piercing.

On Thursday, Meg Munn, Labour MP for Sheffield Heeley, will raise the issue during an adjournment debate in the Commons.

Ms Anderson said: "There are no laws regulating body piercing - there is just a voluntary code.

"There are lots of children out there will all sorts of health problems and they need to be made aware of the risks.

"Daniel wasn't made aware of this, yet there was more risk to him fighting infections because of the problems he had.

"Daniel was living at home and I cannot believe he could have had a piercing without my consent.

"It just seems crazy that this has happened. Anyone could set a business up - we don't need any training, medical background or knowledge. We could do it from home.

"Daniel was a very bright, intelligent young man. He didn't follow a set trend and this is such a waste."


In her Commons debate, Ms Munn asked for the government to bring in powers for local authorities to regulate body piercing.

"In London, the local authorities are allowed to regulate body piercing, but outside London, they don't have that power," she told BBC News Online.

"I have a general concern because we know that a lot of young people have piercings and it's not unusual for them to get infections.

"Most healthy people are going to get over them, but for a small number of people, the consequences are fatal."

:: Family and friends of Daniel Hindle are holding a tribute gig in his memory at The Casbah, Sheffield, on 29 April.

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