Ear piercing for kids has been a practice for centuries as part of ritualistic & cultural traditions, which evolved to become a worldwide mainstream jewellery fashion statement for girls and boys alike. Ear piercing for kids is common practice in India, Nigeria, Brazil, and Hispanic countries.
Ear piercing is an ancient Indian practice, also known as Karna Vedha. It is one of the 16 sacraments, rituals and sacrifices performed to mark the several stages of human life and signifies cultural heritage and upbringing.
While ear piercing has traditional and scientific importance, kids must be taught to take care of their new piercings. Proper care must also be taken during the process of piercing. The healing process of ear piercings usually takes about 4 to 6 weeks, which is when hygiene is extremely important. You don’t want any infection, so it’s important to keep their ears clean.
While ear piercing is a common practice, it doesn’t mean it’s a foolproof process. It is crucial to ensure the procedure is done safely with sterile equipment. Also, as a parent, it is your responsibility to teach your child the basics of how to care for newly pierced ears at home.
1] What is the right age to get your baby’s ears pierced?
For a new piercing, the baby should be at least three months old. However, to determine the right age to get your baby’s ears pierced, consult with a paediatrician. Some people pierce their kids’ ears during infancy, while others wait until the child is mature enough to take care of the piercing.
This timeline ensures that babies steer clear of infection or fever from the piercing, as there have been cases of infants younger than 3 months getting admitted to the hospital due to ear piercing infections. Hence, as ear piercing poses a risk of infection, one should ideally wait until their baby is older to get their ears pierced.
2] What safety tips should be considered before a new piercing?
Safety begins from the place you choose to take your child for an ear piercing. Certain paediatrician offices do ear piercings. Hence, in this case, you should feel confident that the environment is safe and sterile.
However, if you do go to a jewellery store, ensure it is a reputable place that follows all safety and hygiene guidelines. The place must also comply with the regulations and licensing standards of the state.
As for earrings, pick sterling silver or gold earrings as these are hypo-allergenic materials, which are kid safe. These types of metals have the advantage of not causing an allergic reaction. Keep in mind that nickel frequently causes allergic reactions, so steer clear of nickel and opt for pure metals, as these are the best earrings for sensitive ears.
If your child has any medical problems such as allergies, a weak immune system, skin conditions, etc. talk to your doctor before getting their ears pierced.
3] What safety tips should be considered during the piercing?
While it is important to ensure your child’s safety prior to the process of ear piercing, here are some tips to be considered during the piercing:
- Avoid getting your kid’s cartilage pierced, as cartilage piercings take longer to heal. Also, if proper care is not taken, it can lead to the formation of keloids – an overgrowth of scar tissue.
- If your child has long hair, always keep it tied in ponytails or away from the ears to prevent the hair from entangling with the earring. Keep products like hair spray, hair gel, and perfumes away from the newly pierced ears as well.
- Before the procedure, enquire whether or not the person performing the same is professional and trained. The person must wear a new pair of disposable gloves and use thoroughly sterilized equipment.
- If you are unsure of the same, ask about their sterilization procedures. Instruments used in the process should be treated with a heat-sterilization machine and cleaned with a disinfectant solution.
4] What safety tips should be considered after a new piercing?
Post ear piercing, the skin around the piercing might appear swollen, sensitive or red. Gentle caring for newly pierced ears is vital to facilitate proper healing and prevent infection. Hence, ensure your child follows these safety tips:
- Make sure your child doesn’t touch the new piercing except when you are cleaning them.
- Always make them wash their hands with soap and warm water before touching their ears or earrings.
- Clean the entire area surrounding the piercing – both front and back – with sanitiser or disinfectant on a cotton swab, two to three times a day. While cleaning, ensure the earring is secured and gently rotate the earrings. This is how you clean newly pierced ears.
- Be careful not to pull or push on the piercing when brushing your child’s hair, as any abrupt pull may lead to a tear.
- Avoid swimming pools and hot tubs, as any excess water may increase the risk of infection.
- Do not remove or change their earrings for at least six weeks or as long as the piercer recommends.
Ear piercing is a great opportunity to teach responsibility to your kids. However, do not let your child have sole responsibility for the piercing. Teach them how to take care of it and let them have some autonomy, but supervise from a distance.
Also, watch out for signs of infection. If you notice pain, redness, puss, or swelling that lasts longer than 24 hours post piercing, contact a doctor for an exam and treatment.
5] Who should pierce your baby’s ears?
Most people recommend using traditional piercers, who have been doing it for their families for generations. However, the piercing should only be done by professionals, using proper gloves, hygienic and sterile tools. Moreover, they should have first-aid kits at hand. In short, professionals or paediatricians who carry out these procedures must be given preference.
Ear piercings make for a great accessory for kids, ones that they can style on their own later. However, caring for newly pierced ears and ensuring that the kids know how to avoid infection is important as well.
Pick gold jewellery for piercing. Also, until the piercing wound has healed, ensure that your kids do not engage in extreme physical activities or play games where a lot of physical contact is involved. Ear piercing for children can make them quite happy & excited, but it is essential to ensure proper care to prevent infections.