For many cultures, ear-piercing is a rite of passage. Ancient Egyptians had piercings, and archaeologists even found earrings in Tutankhamen’s tomb. Many cultures historically pierced the ears of their warriors. For some, piercing is a spiritual practice that comes with ritual and significance. Even for those who see ear-piercing as merely cosmetic, it is often a milestone that calls for celebration.
Despite the prevalence of ear-piercing throughout history, and despite the common practice of piercing the ears of children and infants, it still sparks contentious debate among parents and family members. Some parents believe they should be taking their newborn right out to get pretty little studs put in their ears. Others believe that they should wait until the child is old enough to make the decision for him or herself. Whatever your opinion regarding ear piercings for kids, there are a few important facts it is important to take into consideration.
At What Age Should You Pierce Your Kid’s Ears?
Most pediatricians agree that newborns should not have their ears pierced. Instead, you should at least wait until your infant is three to six months old. This ensures that your baby has developed enough of an immune resistance to avoid potentially serious infection that could lead to a hospital stay.
While some compare infant piercing to involuntary mutilation, it is actually one of the safest times to have the procedure done. You just need to wait until your baby is three to six months old. Infants are much less prone to touching their ears than young children, and babies often spend their time in much cleaner environments.
Once infants become toddlers, they are mobile and, as all parents know, into everything. When they are mobile enough to get their hands dirty, but not old enough to have self-control or understand the importance of avoiding touching the piercing site, they are at higher risk of infection.
This is due to the increased opportunity for bacteria to enter the site from curious, dirty hands. They also become more prone to injury from pulling on the earring or catching it on something. If you do get your child’s ears pierced once they are a toddler, make sure to use small studs that will not get caught in clothes, blankets, or hair.
When your child is a little older, he or she will be able to participate in the aftercare of the piercing, which can help them learn responsibility. Piercing can be an event to celebrate a birthday or other special day, and they can participate in choosing their favorite new earrings. Waiting until your child is a little bit older makes the experience a special time of bonding that they will remember for years to come.
Additionally, you can make this milestone even more special by ordering them a monthly earring subscription box. The one from Rowan, linked in this article, will send your child a beautiful earring gift box every month, with adorable, high-quality earrings specially designed for kids. This subscription is not just a gift box for earrings. It also includes conversation starters that inspire meaningful interactions and other surprises too. An earring gift box with age-appropriate earrings is an excellent way to share a special bond with your child while making sure she is wearing safe, non-irritating accessories.
When choosing a place to have your kid’s ears pierced, you want to ensure the place is reputable. Your pediatrician may offer piercing services right in the office. If they do not, ask for recommendations. They will likely be able to recommend places that practice the best sterilization procedures.
Make sure the person piercing your child’s ears has had a least a year of experience, and don’t be shy about asking what their sterilization practices are. You can also ask for a topical numbing ointment prior to the procedure. This will cut down on pain.
No matter what age your child is when you get their ears pierced, aftercare is the most important part of the process. Taking good care of the piercing site is essential to avoid infection. The earlobes will need to be cleaned two to three times a day, and you will need to make sure they keep their hands away from the piercing.
Infants will require you to do all of the care, while toddlers may be able to participate to some degree. Though, again, you will need to make sure their hands are clean and be very careful to teach them how important it is to only touch when cleaning. Older children will likely be able to handle all of the aftercare themselves, but you will still need to supervise and ensure that they are keeping up on regular cleaning.
In addition to cleaning the piercing site, you will also want to keep things they can catch the earrings on away from their ears. Be careful when brushing hair, and keep it pulled back with a headband or in a ponytail to avoid tangling.
Immediately after piercing, and for the next six to eight weeks, earrings must not be removed. This prevents the site from closing and also prevents infection from exposure to bacteria. Your child should also avoid swimming in lakes, and keep hairspray, shampoo, and conditioner away from the site.
Choosing the Right Earrings
It is essential to make sure your child’s first studs are free of nickel and other irritating metals. Any metals that have a tendency to irritate can slow down the healing process and leave your child prone to infection.
After the first six to eight weeks, you can change your child’s earrings whenever they want. Consider a gift box for earrings to keep your child delighted month after month. An age-appropriate earring gift box subscription from Rowan will ensure that your child has a steady supply of the latest fashion accessories designed for kids her age and made with high-quality metals that won’t irritate.