Unusual Kid Stories

Temporary Tattoo Leaves 3 Year-old With Permanent Bart Simpson Scar

While vacationing in Benidorm, a Spanish coastal community south of Barcelona, Vinnie England’s parents allowed their son to get a two-and-a-half inch image of Bart Simpson temporary tattoo on his right arm at a henna tattoo shack.

Just days after returning home, the 3 year-old, from Southmead, England complained that his arm was hurting and the temporary image soon began to redden and blister.

His mother Hayley Shipway, 24, who lives with Vinnie and his four-week-old sister Ruby, said his skin blistered and a red ring appeared around the Bart Simpson outline.

She took him to the doctors who gave him a steroid cream.

“The next morning it had got much worse so I took him back to the doctors and as soon as I lifted up his sleeve and showed the nurse her face just dropped,” she told a Local paper.

“It was inflamed and sore, and looked like the Bart Simpson had been scratched into his skin with a pin,” Shipway said.

A genuine henna tattoo should fade within 10 days and the ink is usually a red-brown color.

But the ink used on Vinnie’s skin was black, suggesting it contained a hair dye chemical called PPD (paraphenylenediamine). PPD is often mixed with the henna by tattoo artists abroad because it is cheap.

A high concentration of PPD is used which can cause dermatitis when in contact with the skin.

Not only could Vinnie have scarring but his reaction could mean he now has a lifelong allergy to PPD.

I am not sure that I would let my 3 year-old get a henna tattoo even if I thought it would fade. Face painting is as crazy as I get…


About the author

Lisa Arneill

Founder of Growing Your Baby and World Traveled Family. Canadian mom of 2 boys, photo addict, lover of bulldogs, and museumgoer. Always looking for our next vacation spot!


  • Wow, that’s horrible! I’m on this boat with you… I’m not 100% sure I’m all for toddlers getting any sort of semi-permanent tattoo on their skin.

  • i think those who are putting these tattoos on such young kids are criminal.They must understand that the kids have soft skin which can easily get infected.As a kid they may not have they proper knowledge of the thing and may repent later about this or dont want to have that tattoo on themselves.


    Girona Airport

  • The tattoo part is bad enough, but Bart Simpson? I mean I enjoy the Simpsons, but it is not a show for kids, and no three year old kid should be getting an image of Bart Simpson- especially that one- on their skin or anywhere else.

  • I had gotten my 2 yr old daughter a kids meal from Burger King and inside was a toy called The Last Air Bender and it came with a tattoo of a henna arrow and my daughter wanted it. I didnt see any harm in it. I put it on her arm and now -three days later- she has a brutal rash. I took off the tattoo but there is still a red blistery image of this arrow. I dont know what to do.

    25yr old single mom from California.

  • I think this is horrible for the child to have such an allergy and I definetly think that the person that made the tattoo should be fined!

  • How irresponsible of that mother and all of you others who follow other idiots. Tattoos are only for trailer trash, slum people or prisoners. One’s body does NOT come with spare parts, why would you want to disfigure iton purpose and why would a mother expose her child to anything she does not know the ingredients of? I applaud what Girona Airport said. What that mother did is downright criminal and I would take that child away from her and send her to jail. The skin of toddlers is way TOO sensitive for such things.

  • Wow… This is made to be temporary no I wouldn’t let my child get a henna tattoo but the point is it wasn’t permanent and as for Susan don’t you think your going a little over board I happen to have 2 tattoos and I’m not trailer trash slum people or a prisoner so maybe you should get your facts straight.

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