In the last few days Wales has made it illegal for anybody under the age of 18 to have intimate piercings. This is really groundbreaking, and being welsh and living in its capitol city it makes me very proud to be welsh.
Growing up through the 80’s, pierced ears for men was on a very steady increase and I wasn’t slow in having mine done more than once. It became a necessary fashion accessory for a young person. I personally never went further than having my pierced ears, but many of my friends had nose piercings and more. I wasn’t brave enough to go that far, let alone my tongue, or more intimate parts of my body.
Fast forward to about eight or nine years ago and my two oldest daughters were desperate to have their ears pierced. I could have easily said no, but that would have been very hypocritical considering my ears were pierced, and they knew that I had, had that done from pictures of me when I was younger. So it was off to our local branch of Claire’s Accessories for the piercing. I will say I was always impressed at how professional the staff were in high street outlets that did piercing, and how they always explained the aftercare to stop any infection. In comparison to some of places I had mine pierced which were little back rooms in shops that were situated down lanes that you wouldn’t normally walk down alone.
The piercing business has grown and the love affair with piercing all different parts of your body has without question, got out of control, and like any business where there is lot of money to be made there will be unscrupulous people operating to make a fast buck, and not give a monkeys about the possible health consequences.
Piercing of any part of the body leaves the individual open to infection, so a few days ago the welsh assembly passed a wide ranging public health bill. Part of that bill is the piercing of intimate parts of under 18’s which include tongue, nipples and genitals. This is ground breaking and makes me proud that I’m welsh.
Studies in England have shown that problems were found by a third of 16-24 year olds for all different types of piercing. The study showed that 50% had problems with tongue piercing’s and 45% for the genitals, and 35% with nipple piercing’s. The chief medical officer for Wales and the welsh government have said that young people are particularly at risk because their bodies are still developing. They also pointed out that under 18’s don’t have the experience and knowledge to look after a piercing properly which of course can lead to infection. The new health legislation covers many other things in regards to health including obesity, You can see it all here.
For me personally this is a move in the right direction for helping our young adults and children leading healthy lifestyles. We need to educate and teach the younger generation of the dangers of piercing in intimate places, and how infection can give very dangerous health issues.
My only drawback with this new welsh health bill, is of course ideally it needs to be rolled out across the whole of the UK, otherwise people will just drive or catch a train over the border to England where they will be able to get the piercing they want. I live probably at the very most a 45 minute drive from England so I it wouldn’t be difficult to get a piercing I want if I was under 18. So it’s important to get the message out there and get other areas debating a very important issue to protect our children and more importantly our teenagers.
I would love to know what you think. Do you think the law should be implemented across the whole country?