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Legal Age for Tattoo

By Jodie Lynn


I know you've written about this before in previous years, but what exactly is the legal age for kids to get a tattoo? My daughter just got one on her ankle with the money her grandmother gave her. Needless to say, everyone is upset, especially grandma. She is 17 but can I actually force her to have it removed?


Having a tattoo is not that big of a deal. If she is a good student, hard working, and basically a good and kind person, be thankful and don't sweat it. - Gina S. in Boca Raton, FL


This is an age where teenagers are trying their best to show some type of independence and/or uniqueness in their lives and personality. In some states, kids can legally do many things. I'm not sure which state you live in, but you can research it or call various places and ask. Don't worry if they also are not sure due to laws being changed frequently in some areas. If they don't know, they will point you in the right direction. You might want to start with contacting your Attorney General. If you can't find anything on their site, call and leave a message if someone doesn't answer the phone. As far as trying to force your daughter to get it removed, this will all depend on what the law stated about tattoos at the time she got it. Do your research first and then make a decision. However, keep in mind that if the legal age is 18, she could very well return to the shop and get it put back on once she has her 18th birthday. If she really likes them, she will most likely get more. If this is something family members strongly disagree on as well as think that they are a waste of money, then you might want to consider either giving her gift cards or actually buying her a gift rather than giving her money. While your daughter may or may not have known that getting a tattoo would hurt her grandmother's feelings, it's far from buying/doing drugs. Maybe give her a little breathing room on this one as it could have been a much worse scenario.

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© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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