Oklahoma teens avoid law, risk serious consequences with tattoos

Oklahoma teens avoid law, risk serious consequences with tattoos

Posted: Updated:
Back in 2006, Oklahoma became the last state to legalize tattoo parlors, but teens are still not allowed to get inked.

That's not stopping many young people, sometimes finding themselves in dangerous situations simply because they can't wait a few months or years to get tattooed legally.

Once taboo, tattoos have moved into the mainstream. And that first ink usually comes at a young age.

Teens we spoke with in Edmond tell us tattoos are becoming a common sight in high school hallways, even though it's illegal to get a tattoo in Oklahoma until you're 18.

"It's pretty normal these days," said 17-year-old Antonio Moore, a junior. "Because a lot of people have them."

Moore was 16 when he got his three tattoos.

"I have these ones on my arm," Moore showed us. " This one says 'truly'. And this other one 'blessed,'" Moore also showed us one on his chest which he described as praying hands with daggers through them.

Moore and his friend Devonte Martin didn't go to a professional parlor to get inked. Martin said they went to "a friend's house."

Moore said, "I mean if you've got good work, then I trust you."

But they admit the work isn't always the best. Martin plans to go to a professional to fix one of his tattoos. He showed us the issues. "The cross, I think it could be better," he said. "And the hands need to be shaded more and stuff like that."

Tattoo artist and co-owner of 15th Street Tattoo, Chris Beardsley, tells us those fixes and coverups are some of the most challenging work they do.

"Anybody worth getting a tattoo from isn't going to be tattooing out of their house," said Beardsley.

 
It's not just about ending up with botched artwork.

The biggest risk is to your health. With broken skin, there's the risk of infection and disease like Hepatitis and HIV.

But Beardsley can relate to impatient teens. He got his first tattoo in a home at 17-years-old. "Looking back on it, it was one of the scariest moments of my life," he said.

27 other states now allow children under 18 to get inked with parents' permission.

"I got the world on my side, because I actually want to travel the world," said 17 year-old Blaik Hammons, an Edmond senior as she showed off her tattoo.

She drove with her father to Arkansas to get her tattoo legally from a professional.

"I wanted tattoos my whole life," said Hammons. "My dad told me when I was 16 I could get one. And he probably thought I'd forget about, that but I didn't."

Hammons said including her parents in the decision helped save her from making a mistake. "I originally wanted to get it on my wrist, but my dad talked me out of it because of jobs," she said. "He said I needed it somewhere I could hide it."

All of the teens we spoke with support changing the law in Oklahoma to include minors. But Beardsley isn't fully on board.

"I don't know being 16 you're really mature enough or know enough about yourself to make that kind of life-long commitment," Beardsley said.

The advice for parents? Keep an open dialogue. Child psychologists recommend having a frank discussion about tattoos , beyond just telling your teen 'No way.' And they suggest starting the conversation even before your child seems interested.

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • FDA warns against using caffeine powder

    FDA warns against using caffeine powder

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:42 PM EDT2014-07-24 02:42:05 GMT
    A new warning from the FDA urges you to stay away from powered caffeine. It's easy to get. It's powerful. But as we recently learned, even a small amount can be deadly. The substance responsible for killing a high schooler in Ohio can easily be bought online. And now the FDA warns everyone to avoid caffeine powder."You get overstimulated, and in the worst case scenario, it can cause your heart to stop," said Dr. Rachel Franklin, medical director of OU Physicians Family Medicine. 18-year-old L...
    A new warning from the FDA urges you to stay away from powered caffeine. It's easy to get. It's powerful. But as we recently learned, even a small amount can be deadly. The substance responsible for killing a high schooler in Ohio can easily be bought online. And now the FDA warns everyone to avoid caffeine powder."You get overstimulated, and in the worst case scenario, it can cause your heart to stop," said Dr. Rachel Franklin, medical director of OU Physicians Family Medicine. 18-year-old L...
  • Having trouble cooling off? It's not just heat, it could be your medicine too

    Having trouble cooling off? It's not just heat, it could be your medicine too

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-07-24 02:00:16 GMT
    As the mercury rises in Oklahoma, people taking some over the counter medications and prescription drugs may find it harder to cool down.
    As the mercury rises in Oklahoma, people taking some over the counter medications and prescription drugs may find it harder to cool down.
  • Oil and gas execs give alternative explanations to surge in OK quakes

    Oil and gas execs give alternative explanations to surge in OK quakes

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:36 PM EDT2014-07-24 01:36:20 GMT
    Wednesday members of the oil and gas industry publicly spoke out. They gave their side of the debated connection between injection wells and the state's recent surge in earthquakes over the past five years.
    Wednesday members of the oil and gas industry publicly spoke out. They gave their side of the debated connection between injection wells and the state's recent surge in earthquakes over the past five years.
  • More HeadlinesMore>>

  • Arkansas clerk: "I just wasn't in the mood [to be robbed]"

    Arkansas clerk: "I just wasn't in the mood [to be robbed]"

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 7:34 PM EDT2014-07-23 23:34:09 GMT
    When Paul Fagin clocked in his for shift at an Arkansas gas station, he said it just wasn't the day for him to be robbed. When a suspect tried to do it, he fought back.
    When Paul Fagin clocked in his for shift at an Arkansas gas station, he said it just wasn't the day for him to be robbed. When a suspect tried to do it, he fought back.
  • Florida father says son saved alleged molester's life

    Florida father says son saved alleged molester's life

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 1:05 PM EDT2014-07-23 17:05:03 GMT
    Raymond Frolander was found with several knots on his face and bleeding from the mouth after he allegedly sexually abused a child.Raymond Frolander was found with several knots on his face and bleeding from the mouth after he allegedly sexually abused a child.
    A Florida father who beat his 11-year-old son's alleged molester unconscious before calling 911 told a CNN affiliate that his son is a hero and that the youngster is the only reason the man is alive.
    A Florida father who beat his 11-year-old son's alleged molester unconscious before calling 911 told a CNN affiliate that his son is a hero and that the youngster is the only reason the man is alive.
  • New law makes French restaurants prove food is fresh

    New law makes French restaurants prove food is fresh

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:09 AM EDT2014-07-23 10:09:19 GMT

    A new law in France requires restaurants to post a logo advising patrons if their foods are actually home made and which ones are just heated up.The logo is a rooftop covering a sauce pan and it's supposed to designate fait mason, or homemade.

    A new law in France requires restaurants to post a logo advising patrons if their foods are actually home made and which ones are just heated up.The logo is a rooftop covering a sauce pan and it's supposed to designate fait mason, or homemade.

  • FOX25 Slideshows

Most Popular

Stories
Videos
Compiling list...
  • FOX 25 FeaturesMore>>

  • Tell Me Something Good

    Tell Me Something Good

    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
  • Waste Watch

    Waste Watch

    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by 

WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KOKH. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.