There are a lot of social problems covered in health classes at the middle and high school level ranging from social media use to substance abuse to bullying. One topic that might be good for teens to talk about at an early age is tattoos and other forms of permanent body art. We know that tattoos are becoming more common, but it is unclear how many teenagers have tattoos. The latest Pew research study reported 38% of young adults ages 18 to 39 have one or more tattoos.
Because of the role that tattoos can play on future success, there is now a school curriculum that reviews the social and health implications of tattoos and piercings. The curriculum can be covered in one to two class periods and covers important topics such as ink dye, tattoo regret, and body changes. It also covers barriers related to tattoos such as employment, social relationships, and long-term health impacts. This, the authors argue, will provide teenagers with the knowledge to make sound and informed decisions when it comes to body art.
Different states have different laws when it comes to the legality of teenagers getting tattoos or piercings. Some states require parental presence, while others only require parental consent. Still other states, such as Wisconsin, do not allow minors to get tattoos at all unless the tattooing is performed by a physician or licensed technician under a physician’s supervision. Even though it is illegal for teenagers to get tattooed in Wisconsin, it is still important to have a discussion about all of the factors of permanent body art.
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