Health experts call for law against 'extreme piercing' in kids as young as 11

Last Updated: Sun, Jan 02, 2011 10:00 hrs

Health experts in Queensland have knocked the legislation calling for urgent changes in the law to check the growing demand of extreme piercing in children.

Children as young as 11 are nudging towards body modification practices once reserved for hardcore punks, reports the Courier Mail.

There are no laws in Queensland outlawing the piercing of young children, except in genitals. Yet, tattooing, on anyone under the age of 18 is illegal.

The Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Paul Lucas said he intended to take a submission to Cabinet in the New Year.

"I share the concerns of parents when it comes to body piercing and minors," he said.

"I'm not talking about piercings such as simple earrings or studs in ears, but the sort of piercings that can permanently damage children's faces or other body parts.

"If that sort of body decoration is something people want to do, then I see no reason why they can't wait until they are 18 to do it on an informed basis.

"It is for this reason that I have asked Queensland Health to investigate legislative options for prohibiting the non-intimate piercings of minors," Lucas said.

The Australian Medical Association Queensland president Gino Pecoraro supported the campaign and said the laws for piercing should be the same as tattooing.

"Parents should be taking these people up on assault charges," he said.

He said microdermal anchors amounted to surgical procedures and "should not be carried out by anyone not fully qualified and certainly should never ever be carried out on a minor".

"If they become infected ... and left untreated, an infection runs the risk of bacteria getting into the blood and can be very dangerous to the heart," Pecoraro said.

Also backing the plea for new laws is Brisbane body piercer Ben Thorsen, of Spring Hill.

"Microdermal anchors are in big demand and, basically, they go in but they don't come out," Thorsen said.

"I can tell you that it takes years of training to do this kind of thing safely and I'm scared that children are going to people who are just not experienced," he added. (ANI)