Tattoos for Kids: Legal or Not?

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Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 10:24 AM

This little kid was working some serious tattoos at last week's Ink-N-Iron custom car and 1950s fashion festival. Asked if the tats were real, his dad said, "Of course!" then chuckled.

click to enlarge tattedkid.jpg

It's actually illegal for children under 18 to get permanent tattoos in California. Under California penal code section 653, any person who tattoos a minor is guilty of a misdemeanor. It's the same in other states. A couple in Georgia was arrested earlier this year for tattooing their child. They were charged with cruelty to children and tattooing without a license. The age limit for getting permanent tattoos varies from state to state.

But semi-permanent is totally fine, even encouraged. You can, for instance, get temporary "safety tats" for your kids, which are similar to the ones you can get for your pets. The safety tattoos say stuff like, "If lost, please call..." and "In case of emergency" and "Alert: Nut allergy."

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