Updated 06/18/2012 11:42 AM
Healthy Living: Piercings
YNN's Casey Bortnick reveals the possible risks of piercings and the new law that that is proposed to help decrease those risks.
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Piercing can be seen as an art form for those who choose to express themselves that way, however, it comes with responsbility.
"If you're not going to take care of your piercing the way you should, there's a risk of infection," said Courtney Colon. She works at Extreme Graphix in Greece. According to her, the upkeep is very important.
Piercings are restricted for anyone under the age of 16. Those who are between the ages of 13 and 15 can only get certain body parts pierced and they must have parental permission.
"That was, the parent at home, since they come with the child to get the piercing, is going to enforce things, 'hey, did you clean that today? Hey, did you get that taken care of today?" said Colon.
A new bill that was passed by both houses of the New York State Legislature would increase age restrictions to 18, which would mirror laws that are currently in place for tattoos.
"I can't take an x-ray of someone under 18 without parental consent. I think goes way beyond an x-ray," said Dr. Lee Pollan, oral surgeon.
Dr. Pollan of the Eastman Institute for Oral Health said that piercings of the lip and tongue are particularly dangerous.
"The oral cavity is laiden with bacteria. The potential for an infection that can be life-threatening is certainly of consideration," explained Dr. Pollan.
Pollan believes that a change in the law will not change the risks, but it will create more of a safety net for kids.
"If a minor shows up to have this procedure done, without either having carefully thought it through or have the advice or input of a parent, certainly significant damage can occur," said Dr. Pollan.
"I got my first piercing when I was 15, so having my daughter now thinking about doing something like that when she's 15 I think it's a good proposal to have," said Colon.