Wales Bans Intimate Piercing Of Under-18s

Wales has become the first country in the UK to introduce a nationwide ban of the intimate piercing of under-18s.

A change in the law means, from today, it's now an offence for practitioners to arrange - or carry out - such piercings on children and young people.

It covers 10 parts of the body - including tongues.


The Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton said; “In line with The Public Health (Wales) Act 2017, this new law is in place to ensure we can protect children and young people’s health and wellbeing. 

“It’s concerning that a third of young people with intimate piercings have reported complications following a procedure. The child protection issues that could also arise from this scenario highlight even further, the importance of implementing such a law.   

“I hope this piece of legislation will help to reduce these issues, and that practitioners understand the importance of obtaining proof of age beforehand”. 

The Chief Dental Officer for Wales, Dr Colette Bridgman said:

“Tongue piercing can lead to lasting damage to teeth and gums, and can cause serious swelling in the mouth that can affect breathing. Many dentists in Wales have seen patients who have permanent harm following piercing and dental teams in Wales really welcome this new law”.  

Welsh officials say it's needed to protect "health and well-being" - as a study in England found around a third of those aged between 16 and 24 who'd had a piercing reported complications.

Some other local authorities across the UK have brought in similar restrictions.

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