Ten tipsLast December, my then 5-year-old daughter begged me to get her ears pierced. After a lot of thought, I agreed.
But when we visited Claire’s for her piercing, Tessa took one look at the ear piercing instrument, burst into tears and begged to go home.
Many parents of young girls, and some boys, listen to their child’s arguments in support of ear piercing. But before you run out to your local mall, weigh the pros and cons to help you decide what’s right for your child.
Judi Adelman of Lemont knows how badly her 11-year-old daughter, Chandell, wants pierced ears.
"It’s a trend and many of her friends have pierced ears," says Adelman. "There’s definitely peer pressure to get it done."
But Adelman wants Chandell to be completely ready and not pierce them just because her friends have.
"It is OK to pierce ears after the first set of vaccinations," says Dr. Ruben Rucoba of Wheaton Pediatrics. "It is a parental decision and it’s healthy as long as someone is taking good care of the piercings."
If you’re concerned about your child’s level of responsibility, but she’s begging to be pierced, give her a challenge of keeping her room clean every day for three weeks to prove she’s up to an important daily task.
Wheaton Pediatrics is one of many doctor’s offices that is acquiring ear piercing instruments to use for patients.
"Your nurses are accustomed to giving sterile shots and the same safety techniques can be applied to ear piercing," says Rucoba.
Never allow children to pierce each other’s ears at home. Piercings outside a sterile environment can lead to infection or permanent damage to the ear lobe.
Initial piercings use studs that remain in the ears for six weeks, so remind your daughter that the pair she chooses is what she will be wearing for an extended period of time.
Apply cleanser to the front and back of the holes while gently moving the earrings to allow for maximum coverage. Twisting the earrings a few times a day keeps the hole from healing on the post. Wash hands before touching the ears to keep the holes clean.
Planning for future piercings. If you’re considering allowing additional piercings, it can’t hurt to speak with a doctor first. Different parts of the body have different issues. For instance, ear cartilage is much more painful to pierce, heals slowly and can cause serious infections.
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