Since prehistoric times, the act of children and adults getting their ears pierced has been considered a special rite of passage. Kids, especially young girls, are entering a new stage of independence and personalizing their style. While this opportunity is a unique memory to create with your kids, getting a child’s ears pierced also invites challenges: How will your child respond to the pain? What should you look for in a piercing location? To make the journey as smooth as possible, important questions about ear piercing for kids are answered below.
Is There an Age Limit?
It’s not uncommon in some countries for children as young as six months old to have their ears pierced. However, in the United Kingdom and the United States, there is an ongoing controversy between parents about what the appropriate age should be. Generally, there is no legal age limit for children to undergo body piercings. The most popular age ranges from seven to ten years old when children can fully understand the experience. The final decision is ultimately up to you and your children.
How Should I Choose a Piercing Shop?
Licensing standards vary from state to state. Find a reputable piercing location by asking your dermatologist or pediatrician if they offer piercings. If they are not an option, inquire friends and family. The location should have a positive history with customer reviews and a solid reputation with the Better Business Bureau. When you arrive for your appointment, pay attention to the studio’s cleanliness and how the employees display care and attentiveness. Practices to look out for should include wearing disposable gloves, sterilizing your child’s ears, and using new piercing materials for every customer.
How do I Alleviate Pain?
As a parent, the most beneficial way to alleviate worry and pain is to familiarize yourself with how ear piercings are conducted. Research the pros and cons of using a needle instead of a projector gun and the possibility of metal allergies. Have an open discussion with your kid that the experience will not be pain-free, but it will be quick. During your appointment, request the technician to use a topical numbing cream. It contains lidocaine derivatives and acts as mild anesthesia for the injection site. To make your child feel at ease, plan a fun activity such as going for ice cream or shopping afterward.
What is the Aftercare Process?
It takes up to six months for pierced holes to set. During this time, you and your child will focus on keeping their ears clean. Unless it becomes necessary, don’t remove the first pair of earrings for at least six weeks. Apply a dab of hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol or another after-piercing cleaning solution to a cotton ball, and clean the back and front of the earrings at least twice a day. Following the first six weeks, replace the initial set of earrings with a different set for another six weeks. Repeat this process of cleaning again until several months have passed.
What are the Signs of Infection?
The first signs of infection include swelling, redness, itching, tenderness, and drainage. If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately and follow their treatment plan. The area may be infected, or your kid may be suffering from an allergic reaction to the earring’s metal. The best solution is to remove the earrings immediately and wait until these symptoms subside before changing the earrings or considering getting their ears pierced again.
What Other Preventative Measures Can I Take?
Make sure that your child isn’t irritating the injection site by fidgeting with their ears. Though it’s not entirely prohibited for your child to participate in extracurricular activities, it’s beneficial to consider limiting hobbies such as swimming to avoid harmful bacteria and including extra padding if their sports activities include wearing a helmet. Excluding the after-care process, the less interference with their ears will decrease the chances of an infection. There’s no reason for you and your child to not enjoy this special event together with the right amount of preparation.