Body-piercing parlours 'should face tougher rules'

Body-piercing parlours should be regulated to protect young people from the growing risk of infection, allergic reactions, and scarring, nurses said yesterday.

As the fashion for body-piercing has grown, led by role models such as the Spice Girl Mel B and the singer Robbie Williams, so have the numbers of people injured by it including some whose lives have been put at risk. The Royal College of Nursing's congress in Bournemouth heard a catalogue of examples of piercings that had gone wrong.

Lesley Chivers from Bristol told how two 13-year-old girls who had had their ears pierced successfully recently went to have their navels done. They paid £25 each to a body-piercer in Hereford who warned them not to wear tight clothes but gave no other advice.

Three weeks later one of the girls noticed her navel was red and inflamed. The following morning her mother tried to get her out of bed and found her feverish and delirious. She was admitted to hospital for rehydration and treatment with antibiotics and now has an unsightly scar.

Natalie Tidy said treating complications caused by body-piercing was costing the NHS £1.5m a year. These included allergies to the nickel often used in place of surgical steel, haemorrhaging and blood-poisoning, leading in rare cases to septicaemia. In a survey of GPs in Rochdale 95 per cent said they had had to deal with complications from body-piercing.

Ms Tidy said: "Shouldn't there be regulation of a practice which could be described as an invasive surgical procedure?"

Ear-piercing is regulated under the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act and children under 14 must have parental consent. But the Act does not extend to body-piercing. London boroughs can require body-piercers to register and undergo regular inspection but there are no similar powers outside the capital. Linda Fennell from Belfast told the Congress that any nurse who felt overworked or underpaid had a lucrative alternative in body-piercing. "You can complete a three-day course, or buy a video, or get it over the internet and for £100 you are in business."

She added: "There is greater protection for ear-piercing than genital piercing."

Ann Brady of the Society of Paediatric Nurses said: "It is only a fashion and a fad but it has long-term adverse effects. It is young children of 12 or less trying to emulate their idols. They don't have the knowledge the piercer should have and they don't have the knowledge to ask the right questions. These are the children left with bad scars and infections."

The Department of Health said two years ago that ministers favoured extending the powers of London boroughs to the rest of the country, but this has not happened.

Ms Brady said: "Will something only be done when some famous idol dies?"

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
Life and Style
Dale Bolinger arranged to meet the girl via a fetish website
life
Property
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
Life and Style
tech
News
The Commonwealth flag flies outside Westminster Abbey in central London
news
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
theatre
Extras
indybest
News
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
Arts and Entertainment
tvWebsite will allow you to watch all 522 shows on-demand
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Graduate Web Developer

    £18000 - £28000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Excellent opportun...

    Graduate Database Developer (SQL)

    £18000 - £28000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Excellent opportun...

    Community / Stakeholder Manager - Solar PV

    £50000 - £60000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

    Senior Marketing Executive (B2B/B2C) - London

    £32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

    Day In a Page

    Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

    The 'scroungers’ fight back

    The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
    Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

    Fireballs in space

    Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
    A Bible for billionaires

    A Bible for billionaires

    Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
    Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

    Paranoid parenting is on the rise

    And our children are suffering because of it
    For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

    Magna Carta Island goes on sale

    Yours for a cool £4m
    Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
    Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

    Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

    They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
    The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

    20 best days out for the summer holidays

    From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
    Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

    All the wood’s a stage

    Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
    Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

    Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

    Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
    Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

    Self-preservation society

    Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
    Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

    Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

    We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor