Safety Tats

Really?  A tattoo for a child?  First we poke holes in their ears when they’re barely able to stay awake longer than an hour at a time, and then we strap giant flowers on their heads and stuff their feet into mini versions of the shoes we wish we could afford for ourselves…even though they won’t be standing, let alone walking, for at least another year (and by then their feet will have grown at least two sizes).  And now…NOW we tattoo them?!?  This is just too much!

But wait.

Let me explain.

You see, these tattoos aren’t permanent.  They’re applied using water and last anywhere from 5 days to a couple of weeks – whichever you need – and can be personalized with whatever colours and images you (or your child) prefers.  Still not convinced?  How about this: They’re made for you to write your phone number on so that if your child was to wander off at an amusement park, store, or zoo, anyone who found them could call you and reunite you and your child.

When I was two years old I was out shopping with my parents in a large department store.  Bored and curious (like any toddler in a store that doesn’t contain toys), I crawled under a rack of men’s clothing and created my own instant fort.  When my mom turned around to check on me, I was gone.  As a mother myself now, I can actually feel the panic I’m sure she felt all those years (okay, not TOO many) ago.  Fortunately they discovered me within moments, but I’m sure to them it felt like an eternity.

A few years later, when I was bout six, we were at a zoo in a large city, and before we left my mom wanted to check out the gift shop.  I was careful to stay near her but at some point, I looked up to show something to my mom and the woman I’d been following around was not my mother.  Suddenly frantic, I tore around the store, just about ready to cry.  Finally, when I was about ready to lose it, I dashed up the stairs to the balcony level of the shop.  There were my parents, browsing the books about animals.  It was as if they hadn’t missed me yet.  And maybe they hadn’t.  I actually don’t know.

The point I’m trying to make is that kids, even when they’re trying hard to be safe with their parents, get lost, disoriented, or distracted.  It’s possible that the best intentioned family can get separated in a frighteningly busy place.  If your child’s arm bears a permanent record of your cell phone number, there’s an easy way for someone to help you find each other again.

And for that, I’d tattoo my child.


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