What if tattooing your child could save their life? One father, reddit user Thrwydad, thinks a tattoo could do just that for his son. He turned to reddit for input and got an overwhelming response.
If asked “Do you think I should tattoo my baby?” the question alone would shock and appall most people. You might consider calling child services on the spot. There are many reasons why tattooing a kid is wrong, starting with pain and ending with the fact that children can’t make permanent life decisions. It’s undisputed bad parenting to tattoo a child, especially a baby. However, we all know there are exceptions to every rule. What if tattooing your child could save their life? One father, reddit user Thrwydad, thinks a tattoo could do just that for his son. He turned to reddit for input and got an overwhelming response. Many clicked expecting to be outraged and were surprised at what they found. This man wants to tattoo his son to save his life. Here's why.
A father of twins: Thrwydad, the father of two identical 12-month-old boys, recently turned to reddit with a life-or-death parenting dilemma. His wife gave birth to the twins, Aaron and Adam, prematurely, leaving Aaron with a serious medical condition. His disease requires him to take medication every four hours. He is completely dependent on his medication to stay healthy. Adam, however, is healthy.
The problem: Aaron needs his medication to stay healthy and Adam can get severely ill if he’s administered the medication by accident. They are identical, and Thrwydad admits, “Even me and my wife can’t tell them apart.” Twins are mistaken for each other all the time, even by their parents, but in this case it could lead to a possibly deadly mix-up.
A mistake was made: When the twins were visiting their grandmother, a mark was made with a Texta marker on Aaron to distinguish him from Adam. It washed off in the bath and their grandmother accidentally gave Aaron’s medication to Adam. "Adam ended up very sick and Aaron in hospital for a week. This is a serious extreme situation and I don't want to take this risk again. We have had other mix ups with the boys but it has never wound up this bad,” Thrwydad explains.
They’ve exhausted their options: There are many ways to tell two twins apart, but nothing is foolproof and everything they’ve tried has failed. Thrwydad lists off his failed efforts by saying, "We have tried other things but nothing else worked as well as the Texta for numerous reasons — nail polish, bracelet, anklets, specific color clothes for each boy, shaving one's head and having the other's long…” Even the more permanent options seem too risky after the mix-up.
Looking into body modification: His desperation after almost losing not one, but both of his children led him to look into more extreme ways to tell the twins apart. He explains, "I read online about someone tattooing a single dot on one of their twins and also about piercing ears. I really hate to say it but we are here. I need to do something permanent. I could have lost both my sons last weekend and I'm desperate. I am only after permanent solutions."
A sympathetic response: Though some reddit users are still against his idea, even those opposed were sympathetic. The refreshing response being so positive is a rarity in the comment section of Internet posts of most kinds. Most agreed that it was a tough spot to be in, and others that disagreed suggested other semi-permanent options like dyeing their hair and applying henna. Thrwydad also lists piercing as an option, which many users agreed would be a great alternative.
Piercing as an option. It's common for parents to pierce their babies' ears in many cultures, specifically India and Latin America. Some doctors even practice piercings on children to provide a safe option for those who decide to pierce their kids. Though it’s less permanent than tattooing, it does leave a scar and reddit users were quick to point out the drawbacks. Jennasside says, "Don't pierce them. That's a style choice they may or may not like later. A tattooed freckle isn't much different than am actual freckle,” while xiangusk predicts that Aaron would most likely pull on an earring and cause infection.
reddit backs his decision to tattoo. Though seemingly no one commented with a concrete reason not to go through with the tattooing option, the response was overwhelmingly supportive. User tryingforthewin says, "I would say the tattoo on the foot as it is only something you will see, it can't snag on anything, can still be removed but would be very small anyway.” Since the intention is to get a small mark tattooed and nothing visible, most saw nothing wrong with it. A small mark would likely heal very fast and be more medically safe and less risky long-term than a piercing.
The medical option: Most agreed that a doctor should weigh in first and foremost. An expert may have insight on the best way to go about it or even suggest medical approaches to tattooing. User chilipeppers4u brought up a great point by saying, "Since its for medical reasons, could you ask your pediatrician for a referral to a radiation therapy clinic? Radiation therapists are trained medical professionals that are also licensed to do tattoos. They only tattoo a single dot that's to guide radiation. You would know they are clean, and depending on location they may even have experience with young kids."
Tattoo placement suggestions: The users suggested something hidden, or brown, so it resembles a birthmark. However, the consensus was that it should be visible and easy to distinguish in a place that can be accessed easily without clothing removal. Fruitjerky suggested, "I say dot tattoo behind an ear. Hidden, but easy to find. The usual suggested places require you to remove some clothing to find it, which you don't want to have to do in an emergency situation."
Let’s not get carried away: This is a case where a tattoo could save a child’s life. Tattooing anyone under the age of 18 is a crime, so any tattooing for health benefits should be run by a medical professional. At-home body modifications are punishable by law, as we’ve all seen at some point in the news. In a tattoo-crazed culture, we see parents or other adults tattooing children and the fact is that kids aren’t old enough to make the decision to mark themselves for the rest of their lives or handle the aftercare of a tattoo. Just last month, a New York mother tattooed “ride or die” on her prepubescent son’s hand. People magazine reported that she was then charged with unlawfully dealing with a child.