Piercing children’s ears is a tradition that has been in many families for generations. It is more common for girls to get their ears pierced when they are young with boys when they are slightly older. It can be an event that many parents look forward to, however, the debate on when you should get your child’s ears pierced comes up time and time again. This guide will help answer some of the key questions you may have about piercing your children’s ears.
What is the appropriate age to get my child’s ears pierced?
This is arguably a very personal decision, however, some do warn against piercing your child’s ears too young. Infants lack the immune strength necessary to fight off an infection, and by puncturing the skin you open up an opportunity for infection. It is generally advised that parents wait until their child is at least 6 months of age before taking them to get their ears pierced.
Another thing to consider is whether you want your child to make this decision for themselves. If this is the case, it is best to wait until they are around 10 years old to have this discussion. Your child will have a better understanding of their personal style and the responsibility it will take to keep their ears and new studs clean and taken care of.
When choosing earrings, what metal is best?
You or your child may gravitate towards sparklier earrings, but when you first get your ears pierced it is recommended that you get stainless steel earrings and posts. Why? Because this metal doesn’t contain any nickel or alloys that may cause an allergic reaction. Allergies to nickel and cobalt are very common, so it is advised that you avoid earrings that contain these metals.
Other than surgical steel, other safe options include platinum, titanium and 14ct gold. It is important that you ask what the earrings are made of before causing unnecessary possible comfort to your child whilst wearing them.
Where do I go to get my child’s ears pierced?
When determining where to go to get your child’s ears pierced, it may be worth checking in with close friends to see where they got their child’s ears pierced. Many salons offer the service and in more recent years jewellery brands run ear-piercing pop-ups where you can book your child in to get their ears pierced with a range of different earrings from the brand themselves. Salons often use a mechanised piercing gun that has sterilised studs. This way of piercing is usually done for both ears at the same time, should your child choose not to return after getting one ear pierced.
What ear piercing method is safest for children?
You may want to choose to take your child to a tattoo studio, where the piercing is done daily by professionals. They will use a sterile surgical needle to pierce the ears and it is deemed to provide an extra level of hygiene over the piercing gun. When taking your child to get their ears pierced, proper safety and hygiene measures must be in place.
Make sure the technician has washed their hands or has put on new gloves, cleans your child’s ears and has taken out an individual use sterile ear piercer out of its unopened packaging in front of you for each ear.
Should your child see a paediatrician instead?
If you don’t like the sound of taking your child to a jewellery store or tattoo studio to get their ears pierced, you may want to think about taking them to their paediatrician. Many paediatrics offer ear piercing for a small fee and this can minimise any risks associated with having your child’s ears pierced. If your child is slightly older, having their ears pierced by someone they know and have grown up with can help with any anxiety the child may have. You also have the added benefit that you and your child are in a safe and hygienic environment. Only medical grade piercers will be used and your paediatrician will only use earrings made of suitable materials to avoid any possible allergies.
How much does it cost to get a kid’s ears pierced?
Ear piercing pricing can vary, many brands will offer free ear piercing with the purchase of a ‘piercing kit’. This usually consists of a pair of earrings and a cleaning solution. Depending on what earrings you choose for your child’s first pair will often determine the price of getting her ears pierced, stainless steel earrings can start at £15, whilst 18ct gold piercings can go into £100’s. It is worth asking the piercer for a list of prices at the start of your appointment. When going to a tattoo studio piercings can start at around £20, however, you may not have a huge variety of earrings to choose from.
How should I care for my child’s new ear piercing?
To avoid infection, always keep your daughter’s earrings clean. Wash your hands with a mild soap before cleaning the front and back of earrings twice a day with a cotton ball or pad that has been dipped in a small amount of rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or the cleaning solution your piercer has provided you with.
You should gently rotate the earrings and slide them back and forth a few times to maintain the shape of the piercing hole. You should not remove the first pair of earrings for at least six weeks, if removed earlier the hole will begin to close.
After six weeks have passed, you can replace your child’s earrings with another pair, however, your child must wear their earrings consistently for 6 months so that the holes become permanent.
How long do ears hurt after piercing?
It is completely normal for your child’s ears to hurt and feel swollen for a few days after they get their ears pierced. Your child’s ear piercing should look and feel better every day as long as there are no complications and it is looked after correctly. It can take between 6-8 weeks for the piercing to heal, so it is important that your child does not play or irritate it during this time.
Are there any other safety measures I should follow?
When getting your child’s ears pierced for the first time, it is important to avoid the cartilage area as this carries a much higher risk of infection and keloid formation. When your child is changing their clothes or brushing her hair, make sure she doesn’t irritate the new ear piercing. Try to avoid hairspray, shampoo, perfumes and similar products away from the piercing.
If your child is at an age where they participate in sport, they must cover the earrings with small bandages to protect them. They should also avoid swimming for the first two weeks to reduce the risk of infection from unknown chemicals or bacteria that may be in the water of swimming pools, lakes and oceans.
Any sport that requires your child to wear a helmet should be avoided as the helmet can rub on the new piercing causing discomfort to your child. If you are worried about whether your child can participate in their favourite sporting activity, it is best to talk to their coach to see whether pierced ears are appropriate or not.
We hope that this helps answer a few questions you may have about getting your child’s first ear piercing. Start her earring collection with our beautiful range of children’s earrings that feature her first diamonds, first pearls and dazzling gemstones.