New York State: A Safer Place For Teens

By Senator Patty Ritchie
“Don’t cross the street alone. Be home by midnight. Don’t forget to call.”

These are the things I remember saying to my children growing up.

If you’re a parent, you know that as your kids get older the harder it is to get them to listen, especially during their teenage years.

Only a parent knows what it’s like to worry whether or not your child is safe and out of harm’s way.

Last week, Governor Cuomo signed off on two measures that will give parents in our state a little extra insurance when it comes to the safety of our teenagers.

New York has officially joined 31 other states and now prohibits teens under the age of 18 from getting a body piercing without written, parental consent.

This legislation will protect teens from the infections and other health risks associated with body piercings, or piercings that are done on any part of the body other than the ear.

It’s estimated that about 20 percent of all body piercings result in infection.

Our state  is also doing its part to keep teens safe from the dangers of UV radiation exposure, by limiting their access to indoor tanning facilities.

Under the new law, teens under the age of 17 are prohibited from using indoor tanning beds.

Teens between the ages of 17 and 18 must have parental consent to tan indoors.

Under the previous legislation, children under the age of 14 weren’t permitted to use tanning beds, and those between the ages of 14 and 18 needed the written permission of a parent or guardian to tan indoors.

They say that being a parent it one of the toughest, yet most rewarding jobs there is. While we can’t be with our children at all times to keep an eye on them, laws like these ensure that our children’s health and safety are put first and make a parent’s tough job just a bit easier.