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Parental concerns about teen tattoos

January 12, 2019

In the 2011 movie “The Hangover Part II,” Stu Price (Ed Helms) wakes up in Bangkok to find he has a Mike-Tyson-style facial tattoo. Will it permanently ruin his future? That’s the question a lot of parents also face when their kids ask for permission to get a tattoo — even if it’s nothing more than a flower on an ankle.

A recent national poll conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan found that 78 percent of parents of high school students would not approve of their teenager getting a tattoo, although an American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Report says they’re commonplace these days. The parents cited health, social acceptance and career obstacles as their concerns.

As far as health worries, parents are concerned about infection and transmission of diseases like hepatitis and HIV. Socially and professionally, they think people might stereotype their child as undesirable. And 68 percent say they think their kids will simply come to regret it. Since 32 percent of the parents in the study had tattoos, a lot of them know what they’re talking about.

If your kid asks about getting a tattoo, here’s another health concern that you can mention: Some tattoo inks contain phthalates (hormone disruptors) and industrial grade, carcinogenic metals and hydrocarbons that are, according to the Food and Drug Administration, best suited for printers or automobile paint. These chemicals enter the body’s lymphatic system, which helps clean the blood and keep the immune system healthy, damaging vulnerable lymph nodes. You need to keep them — and your kids — clean and happy.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., Is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., Is chief wellness officer and chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune Into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.

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