My kids love temporary tattoos. At one point recently, my younger daughter decorated her face with “Dora the Explorer” tattoos. It was quite a conversation piece around the neighborhood– until the third bath when I was finally able to scrub them all off.
But, apparently, some folks think their kids deserve the real thing.
In February, Lee M. Deitrick, a 20-year-old Louisville, Ohio, man, was left to care for a friend’s 19-month old daughter. For some inexplicable reason, Dietrick decided to give the toddler a tattoo. As one of the girl’s 17-year-old relatives held the child across her lap, Deitrick tattooed the letter “A” on her buttocks. Deitrick was arrested and charged with felony child endangerment.
Eugene O’Byrne, Deitrick’s defense attorney, told the judge that Deitrick intended no harm.
“There was no malice,” O’Byrne said. “More of an error in judgment.”
I’d say so!
Meanwhile, prosecutors argued that the tattooing not only caused the girl permanent disfigurement, but also a lot of pain. Earlier this month, Dietrick was sentenced to three years in prison.
Why do adults think it’s okay to tattoo children anyway? Is it a form of child abuse or just an attempt to force kids to grow up too fast?
This isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened. In January, a Georgia couple was arrested for giving six of their kids homemade tattoos. Last year, a dad held down his 7-year-old son and forced him to get a tattoo (he was later arrested).
And then there’s Mark Seamands, the father who recently branded his kids like cattle with a propane torch (he insisted it wasn’t the same as a tattoo). He branded the children with the initials “SK” for “Seamands Kids.”
Yesterday, a jury acquitted Seamands of two felony second-degree assault charges. Jurors were deadlocked on two lesser charges of fourth-degree assault. The judge declared a mistrial on those charges and set Seamands free, according to the Associated Press.
Seamands said he tattooed the kids because he wanted to bring the family closer while he was going through a divorce. Hasn’t he heard of family outtings to bring a clan together?
The legal age to get a tattoo is 18, but clearly, that doesn’t stop some diehard parents from going ahead and doing it anyway.
Please do yourself and your kid a favor and stick to the temporary tattoos ’til they reach the age of legal consent.