Tattoos for Toddlers?


Flickr photo by Just Jefa
I'm thinking about getting my 2-year-old a tattoo, and I need help picking out the design.

Not really.

However, I did just read about a man who tattooed an "A" on a 19-month-old girl's bottom, and now he's going to prison for three years.

Should he be?

Lee M. Deitrick, a 20-year-old Louisville, Ohio, man, was babysitting the toddler, and for some reason, he thought it'd be a good idea to give her a tattoo. He did so, as one of the girl's 17-year-old relatives held the child across her lap.

Prosecutors argued that the tattooing caused the girl permanent disfigurement and a lot of pain. Deitrick's defense attorney Eugene O’Byrne told the judge that Deitrick wanted to take responsibility and move on. "There was no malice,” he said. “More of an error in judgment."

So here it's kind of a clear-cut case: Deitrick tattooed a toddler who wasn't his child. (The charge, by the way, was felony child endangerment.)

I'm guessing (though I'm by no means certain) that there might have been a different outcome if he were her dad or mom. I don't know much about tattooing at all, but I guess tattoo age laws vary by state -- in some places, a minor can be tattooed with parental permission. So presumably parents could take their toddler to get some ink -- if they could find a tattoo artist who was willing to do it. I'd bet a lot of them would say no.

Technically speaking, ear piercing causes "permanent disfigurement" and a lot of pain. But babies and toddlers get their ears pierced every day.

My own toddler will remain tat-free, at least until she's old enough to make up her own mind about tattoos.

Do you think it's okay for parents to tattoo their toddler?

in the news


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

harry... harrypottermom

I'm gonna have to say no on this one, I have a tattoo and it was painful and honestly your toddler doesn't even fully understand what it is; that it's permanent.

angel... angel-s-cort

even babies don't like shots, sooogiving the baby a tattoo on the behind means how long did this baby scream it's head off and just how did he hold the poor baby still? now a tattoo needs to air out for a few days just to heal correctly so was this baby kept on his/her belly for days AND without a diaper? sooo every time they sat this baby down on it's behind was it done softly, or just plopped down? it's enough care just giving a baby powder for diaper rashes and such, but for the care of a tattoo to be an unnecessary issue is just plain wrong to say the least. I guess if the baby was working on going to the potty that's over. I wouldn't want to sit on anything with a fresh raw tattoo on my but.

it was a terrible thing to do. this child could suffer infections from the terrible act.

lovin... lovinangels

this disgusted me, when I heard about it. That man deserves to go to prison. That baby had no idea why she was going through so much pain, no mama to comfort her. And yes, it should be against the law to tattoo a baby. That's effing child abuse.

elaine23 elaine23

This makes me angry. I can't believe someone could be so stupid. Oh and ear piercings aren't even close to the same thing...they can close up and heal. But yeah, he should get way more than three years in my opinion...maybe like ten.

Suri2010 Suri2010

although i have a friend who got a tattoo  when she was a toddler,i could never do that to my child.  I could understand if it wasa religious thing,but thatsabout it. Children are too young for any kind of ink, and i have tattoos and find them quite calming.  But  i could never do that to my 2 year old son or the daughter i have on the way. The noise alone could be scary.

Phils... PhilsBabyMama

That is ridiculous!  The ONLY person who should be making the decision when it comes to body modification is the person to whom the body belongs to.  I feel the same way about tattoos as I do about ear piercing, circumcision, etc.  If it's not my body, it's not my decision. 


momof... momoflilangel

How dumb can some people really be? Tattoo a 1 year old, really? And the 17 year old who held her down gets away comepletely free b/c she is 1 year under being an adult? Such a terrible story.

robby... robbysmom

If that was my child both the man and 17 year old would be charged!!!  That poor child!!  People make me sick!!

skrawli skrawli

really?  come on why would we wait until they aer 19 months.  Lets get er done at the hospital after birth.  Everything is sanitary and they are already in shock at this new life.  Lets just do it then and save the trouble of having to plan a second event.


Not really!!! They should put the same tattoo on the guy and gal in the same spot.  Lets see if they can sit???  Thats just one more piece of evidence that people are S-T-O-O-P-I-D.

aiden... aidensmomma508

No that is so wrong. Earings you can take out, Tattoos are forever!

1-10 of 84 comments 12345 Last