Local councils have called for tougher sentences for illegal tattooists, who they warn are offering cheap prices for their services to children.
The Local Government Association (LGA) said the problem was increasing because tattoo equipment was becoming more widely available and cheaper to buy.
The LGA warned that unlicensed tattooists can take "dangerous shortcuts with health and safety".
They may work in unsterilised studios, using cheap equipment bought online.
The LGA has also urged online retailers to provide warnings to children about the dangers of using do-it-yourself tattoo kits, which can be bought for less than £25.
It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to be tattooed unless it is performed for medical reasons by a qualified medical practitioner, or someone working under their direction.
Unlicensed tattooists, also known as scratchers, often work from home in kitchens or garden sheds and advertise their services on social media.
It is illegal to work as a tattooist without registering with the local council.
Checklist for anyone thinking of getting a tattoo
An establishment should be registered with the local council - if in doubt ask to see the registration certificate or check the council's online database
Check whether the person you're dealing with has undergone recognised training and qualifications
- Ask to see examples of the person's work
- Ensure that you have read and signed a consent and medical form
- Make sure tattoos are done with new needles. If you don't see the needle removed from a sealed package, don't allow the tattoo to be don’t
- Check that a proper tattoo ink is being used and that it is sterile at the start of your treatment
- The tattoo artist should always wash their hands and put on a fresh pair of medical-type gloves before each new procedure
Ensure that you are given advice on the aftercare for your tattoo
Representatives of junior doctors have called on their union to authorise fresh industrial action in their dispute about a new contract.
The Junior Doctors Committee (JDC) of the British Medical Association (BMA) is to ask its full council to back more industrial action from early September.
The JDC says ministers have failed to address concerns about the contract.
Junior doctors and medical students voted in July to reject a contract deal agreed with the BMA.
It was rejected by 58% of its members who voted in the ballot.
In a letter to members released on Twitter on Thursday night, the JDC's chair Ellen McCourt said the government had remained "persistently silent" on issues which, she said, had resulted in the contract being rejected.
She said: "In light of this, the JDC Executive has voted to reject the proposed new contract in full and to call for formal re-negotiations on all of your concerns.
"In response to the government's silence, JDC exec has today made a formal request for a special meeting of BMA Council to authorise a rolling programme of escalated industrial action beginning in early September."
The dispute has led to junior doctors taking part in six strikes this year, including the first all-out stoppages in the history of the NHS.
A new online campaign is putting pressure on fast food giant McDonald's to impose a global ban on products from animals treated with antibiotics.
Scientists warn that treating livestock with antibiotics is leading to a rise in drug-resistant superbugs.
The charity ShareAction has called on consumers to email McDonald's chief executive Steve Easterbrook.
Last week, the fast food chain stopped using poultry treated with antibiotics - but only in its US restaurants.
ShareAction has called on McDonald's - the world's biggest fast food chain - to stop using chicken, beef, pork and dairy products that have been given antibiotics in all of its 30,000 stores globally.
Medical experts warn that the routine use of antibiotics to promote growth and prevent - rather than treat - illness in farm animals contributes to the rise of drug-resistant "superbug" infections. They are said to kill at least 23,000 Americans a year and represent a significant threat to global public health.
Fast food restaurants have become a focal point for change in the food industry by forcing suppliers to change their practices.
According to ShareAction, more than 70% of all antibiotics used in the US are given to livestock.
In the UK, that figure stands at more than 50% according to the group.
"We hope this action will encourage McDonald's to supersize their ambition," said ShareAction chief executive Catherine Howarth.
McDonald's told the Reuters news agency that it was too early to set a timeline for phasing out the use of all meat and milk products from animals treated with antibiotics.
The company cited varying practices and regulations around the world as one of the difficulties, but added that it "continues to regularly review this issue".
What do you think? Should illegal "tattooists" get a bigger punishment? What are your opinions on the junior doctor strikes? Do you agree with the treatment of McDonalds animals??
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