Baby Ear Piercing: Is it Safe for My Baby?

We’ve seen adorable babies with cute stud earrings. Some parents choose to have their little one’s ears pierced while they’re still infants, while others wait until their kid is a little older. It’s completely a parental choice when it comes to baby ear piercing.

While we’re not here to take a hardline stance, piercing your baby’s ears is completely a personal preference. Depending on who you ask, some people show support while others strongly oppose them. Let’s dig deep. Keep reading!

We will try our best to provide you with all the necessary information you need to make an informed decision, that is, from a pediatric point of view.

ear-piercing

Is there a specific time when you should have your baby’s piercings done? In a nutshell, it depends. While age doesn’t matter, pediatricians advise you to wait until your baby reaches four months old and has finished two tetanus shots.

However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) doesn’t stand firm on the appropriate age for kids. While the group advises waiting until a child is old enough to handle piercing aftercare alone, it doesn’t explicitly prohibit it.

The AAP acknowledges that piercings are safe at any age if the procedure is done with sterile equipment and techniques. For proper healing, the group emphasizes that adequate aftercare should be carefully performed.

Parents should not assume that the healing will proceed on its own, let alone with their kid’s playful hands and endlessly fiddling their newly-pierced ears.

What to Consider Before Piercing Your Baby’s Ears

Do you want to know if it’s a good time to get your baby’s ears pierced? Check out the list before making your decision:

1.   Development of Your Baby

ear-piercing

Babies will not remember the discomfort of a piercing. And a 2-month-old will not have the dexterity to fidget with healing lobes, whereas a 2-year-old almost certainly will. So, consider the pain management of your child.

2.   Baby Piercing Maintenance

If you decide to pierce your baby’s ears, you must care for them regularly for six weeks to avoid infection. Are you willing to regularly care for and practice aftercare tips once the procedure has been done?

3.   Tradition, Cultural Practices, and Social Norms

For many cultures around the globe, piercing babies’ ears is a right of passage. Does your culture allow your baby to have piercings, or is it not allowed due to cultural practices? Here, cultural practices and traditions always take precedence.

4.   Health Considerations, Hygiene Concerns, and Infection Risks

Unpierced ears are less likely to become infected, regardless of how small the risk is. If your toddler or young child touches the piercing, the risk of infection increases. We should not discount the fact that kids love to touch and wiggle anything new in their bodies.

Baby Ear Piercing: Risks Involved

Firstly, here’s the good news. There’s no established link between baby ear piercings and unintended side effects such as uneven or drooping piercings, assuming you’re diligent throughout the aftercare healing process.

Concerns about other issues, such as keloid formation or excessive scar tissue and an allergic reaction to the metal used in the earring, have also not been linked.

Research has revealed that there’s a greater likelihood of keloids developing after the age of 11 than before. So, if keloids run in your family, you should avoid having your child’s ears pierced.

But if you still pursue the procedure, experts recommend doing so in early childhood rather than infancy to avoid the risk of developing keloids.

baby ear-piercingBaby Ear Piercing: Where to Go

You’ll want to ask where to look for a professional piercer. Check to see if they practice proper hygiene and safety techniques. This includes handwashing with germicidal or antibacterial soap, wearing surgical gloves, and using sterilized piercing tools.

Pediatrician That Does Ear Piercing

Find out if your child’s pediatrician has ear piercings among their offered services. It should be noted that not all pediatric offices offer such services. Since they’re medical practitioners, you’re assured that the piercing is done in a safe and clean environment.

If you’re looking for a pediatrician who does the procedure in Georgia, Omega Pediatrics is highly recommended. With our expertise, we ensure that it is done up to medical standards. We have the right tools and equipment.

Baby Ear Piercing Near Me

Each state or country has different commercial piercing standards for babies. If you decide to go to a professional piercer near you, make sure they are certified. This ensures some level of current training and safe practices.

Baby Ear Piercing: What Are the Safe Practices?

1. Don’t pierce a newborn.

If you pierce a newborn—or a baby under three months old—and they develop an infection with a fever, hospital admission is a must as a protocol. Therefore, it would be safe to wait a little longer to prevent such a thing from happening.

2.  Only use sterile equipment.

Ascertain that the professional piercer or pediatrician performing the procedure is qualified and uses sterilized equipment.

3.  Choose hypoallergenic earrings.

Choose earrings that will not trigger an allergic reaction. Sterling silver or gold studs are examples of hypoallergenic materials.

4. Don’t change the earrings for six weeks.

Six weeks after the procedure is considered the healing period. During this time, don’t change, remove, or detach the earrings. The wound should heal first. Also, regularly clean the outlying skin around the pierced site to avoid infection.

5.  Be on the lookout for infections.

Be watchful for any infection to develop. Puss, pain, redness, or swelling for more than 24 hours after the piercing procedure are indicators of infection.

6.  Seek advice.

Inquire with your professional piercer or pediatrician about how to care for baby piercings and what to expect after the procedure.

While Piercing Your Baby’s Ears

If you’ve decided on piercing your baby’s ears and have found a pediatrician or professional piercer to do the procedure, here’s some information you need to know.

1. The procedure will be painful.

Older toddlers know that shots from the pediatrician hurt. So, giving them advance notice eliminates the element of surprise. The same rule holds for ear piercings.

2. Work on a hands-off policy.

Explain to an older toddler that looking rather than touching is the best way to keep their ears lovely and healthy. While the idea may not sink in during the first conversation, always remind them to keep their hands off their ears during and after the piercing.

3. Have simultaneous piercings, if possible.

When your child feels the sting of the first ear being pierced, he or she may become wiggly, tearful, or both, making piercing the following ear difficult. Call ahead to see if two piercers or healthcare professionals can pierce both ears simultaneously.

Baby Ear Piercing: Tips for Aftercare

Just like adult piercings or any other type of body modification, how you manage aftercare will influence how well your baby’s piercings heal and how long they will last.

Take the following steps: Infections can be avoided with proper and consistent aftercare.

  1. Thoroughly wash your hands before touching the pierced site.
  2. Depending on the pediatrician’s prescription, you can apply antibiotic ointment to the piercing site twice daily using a cotton pad.
  3. Rotate your baby’s earrings twice daily.
  4. Don’t remove or change your child’s earrings for the first 4-6 weeks.

Baby Ear Piercing: Infections and Complications

Most individuals, regardless of age, who have undergone the procedure experience minimal discomfort during the healing process. However, if you notice any of the following symptoms in your child’s ear, it may be infected.

The symptoms to watch out for are redness, warmness to the touch, swelling, fever with a temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, and pus discharge.

Causes of Infection

Infections can occur soon after the procedure or even after it has healed. The following factors can cause infections:

  • Using non-sterile tools
  • Using nickel-stud earrings
  • Tears or breaks in the skin of the ear canal before piercing
  • Failure to keep the piercing site clean
  • Using dirty hands to touch the ears
  • Changing and/or removing earrings before they have completely healed
  • Not removing the earrings before going to bed after they have healed
  • Earrings that are too tight
  • Wearing an earring at an incorrect angle

Other Complications

If the procedure isn’t performed correctly, your child’s ear may not heal properly and develop complications. Among the possible complications are the following:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Bleeding
  • Deformity of auricles (visible part of the ear)
  • Ear breaks and tears
  • Embedded backings
  • Keloid formation

Baby Ear Piercing: After The Healing Period

After six weeks, the piercing site should be healed. And you can change your child’s earrings. Always clean every earring with rubbing alcohol before putting it on. Other than bathing, you may also discontinue daily piercing maintenance for children.

Of course, you should continue to monitor your child’s piercing. Never underestimate the power of filthy toddler fingers!

If you notice any signs of infection at the piercing site—a change in color, tenderness, swelling, or prolonged bleeding—or suspect your child has swallowed an earring, call your pediatrician immediately.

Baby Ear Piercing: The Choice is Yours

While having your baby’s ears pierced during their first year isn’t necessarily wrong, waiting until they can play an active part in hygiene is best. A child under four can surely not care for a piercing alone!

Should you pierce your child’s ears? There’s no correct answer. The choice is yours.

If you choose to have your child’s ears pierced, go to a professional piercer or a pediatrician who offers ear piercing services to help you. For babies, it’s recommended that your child’s pediatrician do the ear piercing.

Pediatricians practice medical ear piercing. Your pediatrician at Omega Pediatrics can help you accomplish this. You’re assured of the highest standard of sterile, safe, and hygienic techniques and tools used.

Lastly, thoroughly follow aftercare maintenance so your child’s ears heal properly. Make your child’s ear piecing another memorable milestone with Omega Pediatrics.

FAQ

At what age is it safe to pierce a baby’s ears?

Pediatricians recommend waiting until a baby is at least four months old and has completed two tetanus shots. However, there’s no strict age requirement, and the American Academy of Pediatrics acknowledges that piercings can be safe at any age if done with sterile equipment and proper aftercare.

What factors should parents consider before piercing their baby’s ears?

Parents should consider their baby’s development, the commitment to piercing maintenance for six weeks, cultural practices, health considerations, hygiene concerns, and infection risks before deciding to pierce their baby’s ears.

Are there any risks involved in baby ear piercing?

While there’s no established link between ear piercings and unintended side effects, parents should be cautious of infection risks and potential complications such as keloid formation, allergic reactions, and improper healing if the procedure isn’t performed correctly.

Where can I go for safe baby ear piercing?

Parents can choose to have their child’s ears pierced by a professional piercer or a pediatrician who offers ear piercing services. Pediatricians ensure sterile, safe, and hygienic techniques are used, minimizing the risk of infection or complications.

What are the aftercare tips for baby ear piercing?

Aftercare involves thorough handwashing before touching the pierced site, applying antibiotic ointment as prescribed, rotating the earrings twice daily, and avoiding removing or changing earrings for 4-6 weeks. Parents should monitor for signs of infection and seek medical advice if needed.

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