Age restriction on body piercing and ear piercing. In the City of Westminster  local age restrictions on body piercings and ear piercing are 18 years. Other than this there are no age restrictions on piercings in the UK. A female under the age of 16 cannot get genitals or nipples pierced and a male under the age of 16 cannot get genitals pierced. This is a law unrelated to body piercing restrictions and is covered by sexual assault on a minor. So a piercer practicing these piercings on a minor would be committing an offence and can be fined, jailed and put on the sexual offenders register. So this leaves the rest of piercing to consider. At the Real Piercing studio in Burgess Hill, West Sussex we try and work with the local schools regulation. In practice this is not easy as the regulations are often ignored by the student and most piercers do not have any regulations or policies of their own. This in itself is a very grey area you may have experienced yourself. We recently contacted the schools in our local area with a view to updating our restrictions and find out what is going on.  The findings for our area are as follows: Downlands School Dale Avenue  Hassocks, West Sussex BN6 8LP By Telephone: 2 studs in each ear male or female. Warden Park School, Broad Street, Cuckfield, Haywards Heath, West Sussex. RH17 5DP Steve Johnson Head Teacher Wrote back: “We do not allow boys to wear an earring. Girls may wear one earring in each lobe. No other items such as nose studs, tongue studs, etc. are allowed. We advise students and parents that, if they are considering piercings, the procedure should be arranged for the beginning of the summer holidays so that the piercing can be healed and left without a stud or ring once term resumes in September. The vast majority of parents support our policy. If older students wore body jewellery, then this could encourage younger students of 11-12 years old to pester their parents for something similar” St Paul's Catholic College Jane Murray Way, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 8GA Email “At St Paul’s we only allow one small stud in each ear and no body piercings. “ Hustpierpoint CollegeCollege Lane Hurstpierpoint, Hassocks, West Sussex BN6 9JS Telephone: 1 earring stud in each are for girls only and belly piercings if not seen and which don’t interfere with sport are allowed. Burgess Hill School for Girls Keymer  Road  Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 0EG Telephone: 1 small stud in each ear only Oakmeeds Community College Station Road  Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 9EA Telephone: 1 piercing stud only in each ear lobe male or female, no stretches or any sort. Belly piecing’s if seen or interrupting with activities such as trampolining with be asked to be removed. Ardingly College College Road, Haywards Heath, RH17 6SQ No reply when writing this blog as they have broken up earlier than the other schools however we believe the policy to be the same as Burgess Hill school for girls Central Sussex College Haywards Heath Harlands Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH16 1LT I had difficulty with this telephone enquiry and was referred to Crawley. However Ciaron Steer the current main piercer at Real Piercing Studio attended the college and they appear to have no formal policy in place. I personally have been piercing in the local area since 1998 and my Father David Soper who retired in 2004 had been piercing in the local area since 1962. The above information was obtained for us to assess the local school policy and to enable us to review our current body piercing policy. As a studio specialising in the manufacturer of precious metal body jewellery we have many people travel from around the country and even from other parts of the world for this service which may also inc a piercing. We know that rules for schools vary throughout the UK and each schools tends to have a basic policy which will be tried and tested by the students and on occasions the parents as well. Although we cannot comply with the school policy completely we feel we have a good balance with what we do to retain a good working relationship with the schools and colleges in our area. As a caring and carful studio we are considered to have a strict policy as follows: In the interest of safety and hygiene we do not perform facial or oral piercings for under  16 years old. We will perform body piercings such as a belly piercing from 13 years up with parent or legal guardian present. We will perform body piercings or ear piercings other that the face, genital or female nipple piercings under the age of 16 with parent or legal guardian present. Each piercing undertaken at Real Piercing Studio Burgess Hill will be assessed on an individual basis and advice given before and after the procedure. All re-usable equipment such as clamps and insertion pins in contact with the pierce will have been sterilised by use of ultrasonic cleaner and autoclave. All needles used are 1 use only needles and are disposed of in a sharps container immediately after use. During the procedure the area used will have been cleaned with a anti-bacterial agent and a strict procedure of changing gloves after each and every surface contact is adhered to. This in turn is to prevent any chance of cross infection or contamination. Up to 13 years we will pierce ear lobes for boys and girls and top of the ear with a stud for boys and girls with parent or legal guardian present having signed a form of consent. Bookings are taken and you are expected to bring photo identification for piercings stated as over 16 years of age. Body piercings are difficult things to police for any school. What we have found is that facial piercings are the piercing which will be noticed at schools these are the piercings which cause the most problems for a student and what tends to happen in the early stages it this: the student once noticed will begin to remove the piecing on the way to school keeping it in a bag or pocket quite often in a contaminated condition. This will be forced back into place on the way home. The dangers of this are that the piercing is in constant contact with harmful bacteria and are traumatized daily making the piercing susceptible to local infection. Written by Richard Soper CEO Body Matters Gold Ltd www.bodymattersgold.com