Ear Piercing for Kids – Right Age, Effects and Safety Tips

Ear Piercing for Kids - Right Age, Effects and Safety Tips

Piercing of the ears has been happening since generations for reasons ranging from tradition to simply a matter of choice. Girls, as well as boys, do end up having their ears pierced when they are young. It is one of those events that many parents and families look forward to. But some points need to be kept in mind before moving ahead with this act.

What is the Appropriate Age to Pierce Your Child’s Ears?

The best age for ear piercing could easily be a subjective choice since the reasons to pierce the ear vary from person to person. Generally, piercing your child’s ears when he is an infant is not advised. This is due to the simple reason that a tiny infant lacks the immune strength necessary to fight an infection, should it occur so. Hence, carrying out the piercing after the baby is at least 6 months old or older is recommended.

If you would like your child to have a say in the piercing, then it is advisable to wait till your child is about 9 or 10 years old.

How to Choose a Piercing Method?

The method of carrying out piercing also depends on where the piercing would be done. Most salons that offer piercing services make use of a mechanized gun that have sterilized studs. Piercings are generally done for both the ears at the same time, should a kid choose to not return back after one piercing itself! Tattoo studios make use of sterile surgical needles that provide an extra level of hygiene over the mechanized gun. In India, many parents simply take their children to a trusted jeweller, where a fine gold wire is used to directly pierce the ear by hand.

Who Should Pierce Your Child’s Ear?

Families might recommend using their traditional piercers who have been doing it for generations. However, the piercing should only be done by professionals, by wearing proper gloves and using hygienic sterile tools to do the job. They should also have first aid kits at hand too.

How to Make Sure That Your Child Feels Minimal Pain During the Ear Piercing?

  • Many professionals tend to use a topical anaesthetic cream on the earlobe made out of lidocaine. This helps in numbing the area and lessening the pain down to a simple prick. This needs to be applied in generous amounts, about half an hour or so prior to commencing the procedure.
  • A natural way of carrying out the same task is by making use of ice. Holding an ice cube on the earlobe for a long time tends to reduce the sensitivity of the nerve endings in that area for a short period of time. So this can be done just before piercing the lobe with the needle.
  • Neither way can remove the pain completely. So it is important to support your child and make her understand, or distract her in such a way that it isn’t noticed initially. The pain could also develop later on as the anaesthesia wears off. Let her hold your hands tightly during the process and take deep breaths to calm her down.

Girl getting ear pierced

Which Material is Best, When Choosing Earrings?

For the first earrings, there are ones that are made out of surgical stainless steel. These contain no alloys that could cause allergies and, hence, are the safest choice for the first earrings. Ear piercing studs for children could also be available in platinum, titanium and the popular 14-carat gold. Do avoid choosing earrings made out of white gold, too, since it might contain nickel which could also cause an allergy. Your doctor could recommend which metals to avoid, and these can be confirmed while purchasing them from the seller.

What Are the Signs of Infection After Ear Piercing?

If the right precautions are not taken during piercing, there are chances that the hole gets infected. This starts showing itself in the form of swelling and redness in the area of the ear. Your child might feel a need to itch it and can experience pain. If there is any drainage occurring, this could be a sign of pus has formed already. A doctor would be able to tell if the signs are of an allergy or an infection. An allergy can be easily mitigated by using different earrings. In case of an infection, the earrings must be removed and the area cleaned. A dose of antibiotics would also be prescribed to fight off the bacteria. During the healing, the hole might close up and this might require being pierced again. One should wait at least for 6-8 months before attempting a piercing again and should avoid doing so repeatedly.

Effects of Ear Piercing in Young Kids

  • Young kids are susceptible to play around a lot. By making a hole with a metal in the earlobe, this acts as a place for germs and bacteria to be stuck and result in ear related infections.
  • Any infected skin will heal and grow over the earrings. This might necessitate removing the rear stud that could sometimes be covered by the skin itself. If the earring was already removed, a repeat piercing might have to be conducted.
  • During sports or physical activities, wearing a larger earing could cause it to be stuck in cloth or in any item leading to pulling it on the earlobe and at times rupturing it as well.
  • If the size of the piercing is not appropriate, this could cause the new skin to blend with the earring or in case of larger ones, get entangled with clothes or hair or incessantly poke under the ear.

Post-Piercing Care You Should Follow

  • After the piercing, the area is quite sensitive and exposed. Therefore, extra care and hygiene need to be adhered to while attending to it. Ensure that your child keeps his hands clean and dry before touching the ear in any case. If your baby is quite young, do keep his hands clean at all times since it might be difficult to control him from touching the ears.
  • Even though the area is sensitive, it needs to be cleaned regularly. Make use of a saltwater solution and sponge the area lightly two times in a day, once your child has taken his bath.
  • Families tend to recommend moving the earrings so as to keep the hole in proper shape. However, it is advised to not play around with the piercing until the wound has properly healed. Do not remove any dry skin that forms over the wound.

Are There Any Activities Your Child Needs to Avoid After Ear Piercing?

Until the piercing wound has properly healed, it is advised that your kids do not engage in extreme physical activities or play games where physical contact between other kids is higher. Avoid swimming as well since the germs from the pool could end up infecting the wound.

Ear piercing for children can make them quite happy and excited. Many kids tend to see earrings on you for the first time and would want the same for themselves. For kids slightly younger, this acts as a cool addition to their image.

Also Read: 5 Harmful Effects of Mobile Phones on Children