Study Says 50% Parents Are Concerned About Impact of Teen Tattoos on Future Employment

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Tattoos have become much more mainstream in the last decade. It’s not uncommon to find them on your doctor, or your kid’s teacher. But there is still a stigma attached to tattooing your skin. Yes, they are permanent. And yes, sometimes we don’t make the best decisions when it comes to tattoos. Teens are especially shortsighted when it comes to decisions like tattoos. What seems cool at 18 may not be so cool at 35! Which is why, according to a recent study, half of parents are concerned about teen tattoos.

Parents are concerned that teen tattoos could negatively impact future health and employment opportunities.

A national poll conducted by C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital revealed some interesting data regarding teen tattoos. A shocking 78% of parents are firmly against their teens getting tattoos. But one out of ten who responded to the poll say that they would be OK in some circumstances. For example, they would be fine with a small tattoo to mark a special occasion, or one that could be hidden.

However, half of the 1,018 parents who responded had some serious concerns about teen tattoos and their impact on their kid’s future.

Topping the list of concerns: that a future employer would negatively judge their teen if they had a tattoo. Parents are also concerned about health consequences, such as HIV and hepatitis, transmitted through unsanitary conditions. Half of parents were also concerned that tattoos would reflect badly on the parents themselves.

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But the most common concern among parents when it comes to teen tattoos: regret. 68% of respondents fear that their teens will come to regret their choice of tattoo (or even getting a tattoo) as they age and mature. Says  poll co-director and Mott pediatrician Gary Freed, M.D. M.P.H., “Many parents agree that tattoos are a form of self-expression but worry that teens may not consider potential health risks, how a tattoo may impact them professionally or the chance that as they age and mature, they may regret getting a permanent tattoo.”

Tattoos are a big decision. It’s understandable that teen tattoos would cause parents some concern.

(Image: iStock / Ozanbulbul)