LAS VEGAS (AP) – Students at a Las Vegas high school have been putting themselves at risk by piercing each other in the ears, navels and nipples with sewing needles and paper clips, Clark County School District officials said this week.
The principal of Spring Valley High School sent a letter home to parents Wednesday, saying the school is investigating reports of body piercings and has notified the Southern Nevada Health District to determine the best course of action.
"Frankly, this is very dangerous when kids do this," school district spokesman Michael Rodriguez told the Las Vegas Sun. "We want parents to be aware and have that conversation with their kids."
The investigation started when a parent reported a child received a piercing from another student and then contracted an infection, according to the Sun. District officials said about eight teenagers, including male and female students, were pierced by classmates at home and in a school locker room.
"It was not done in a hygienic manner. It was done with sharing needles — multiple students using the same needle, and that's a health concern and a student safety concern for us," Rodriguez told KVVU-TV.
District officials urged parents to talk with their teens about the dangers of using un-sterilized needles and the potential for infections, including hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.
"A lot of people don't really put a lot of thought into how much bacteria can actually get into the piercing if it's not done properly," Alfredo Padilla, of Chrome Gypsy Tattoo, told the TV station. "Plenty of things can happen. Just a simple infection can turn into something huge."