11 Tips From A Pediatrician Regarding Baby Ear Piercings
It's quite common for many baby girls and boys to have their ears pierced-- but it's not really a foolproof procedure, especially when it’s not a pediatrician who performs it.
Ear piercings aren't painful by themselves, but they still hurt! The stress that precedes the procedure can undoubtedly result in a painful experience. So, it’s a must that it be performed safely and hygienically by a pediatrician.
You should also learn how to care for your child's new piercings at home. Apply these 11 ear-piercing safety tips to avoid infections in your little bundle of joy.
Do not pierce your newborn’s ears.
At Omega Pediatrics, we always tell parents to wait until their baby is no less than three months old before getting their ears pierced. Otherwise, if performed on newborns, they develop an infection and fever due to the piercing procedure.
Those younger than three months almost always have to be admitted to the hospital, according to protocol. Because ear piercings can cause infection, avoid having your baby hospitalized just because of an infant ear piercing and wait until your baby is older.
2. Wait until your child is at least three months old.
While there aren’t really any age restrictions when it comes to piercing a baby's ears, Omega Pediatrics recommends waiting until your baby is three months old and has received two tetanus shots to avoid further complications.
Although having your baby's ears pierced in the first few months of life isn’t outright wrong, it’s still best to wait until they can actively participate in hygiene, like when they are already a few years old.
Touching one's ears with dirty hands can cause infections in young children. Older children will have more discipline to avoid playing with pierced ears since they’re aware of what’s going on. Think about all of these before piercing your baby's ears.
3. Schedule your little one’s ear piercing with proper timing.
It’s best to schedule the piercing when your child is playful and alert. Attempting to pierce a hungry and tired child or a fussy baby, can make the situation much more stressful for you and your baby.
Don't worry if your pediatrician sees you preparing to feed the baby! Pediatricians usually understand the timing and have ways to work around it. They even have more pain-relieving tricks for your little one!
4. Inform your kids beforehand.
Older toddlers are aware that shots from the pediatrician are painful. Giving them advance notice removes the element of surprise. When it comes to piercings, the same rule applies.
So, your child will be prepared physiologically, knowing what to expect, and might feel less pain during the ear piercing procedure.
5. Divert your child’s attention.
Pediatricians and nurses assess the baby's skin condition and ideal earring placement before the procedure. While doing this, we encourage you to assist by playing with your baby, singing songs or nursery rhymes, or watching television or videos to divert your baby’s attention!
Before the ear piercing, we want your baby’s milestone to be packed with happy memories, and adopting a playful attitude contributes to a more meaningful, less stressful experience.
6. Use sterile equipment only.
Some pediatricians' offices offer piercing services, in which case you can be confident that their facility is sterile and safe. When shopping for jewelry, make sure you go to a reputable store with sterile practices.
While regulations and licensing standards vary by state, the individual who is performing the piercing should be well-trained (professional piercer or pediatrician), wear disposable gloves, and use tools that have been thoroughly sterilized.
If you have any doubts, inquire about their sterilization procedures before availing of their services. Heat-sterilization machines or disinfectant solutions should be in place to sterilize tools and instruments.
7. If possible, don’t use piercing guns on babies' ears.
Although piercing guns are easily accessible and apparently simple to use, they’re found to be unsafe for children and adults. Check out these few reasons:
- The operation works through blunt force trauma, causing extensive tissue damage. It compresses the tissue, thus preventing it from healing.
- Most ear-piercing studs are quite dull, and the stud length may not be suitable for everyone since some earlobes and cartilages are too small.
- Exposes clients to previous clients' blood and bodily fluids since the instrument is not always properly sterilized.
- Piercers at piercing kiosks aren’t trained and equipped for bloodborne pathogens or disease transmission. At worst, your baby might contract hepatitis or another blood-borne disease from ear-piercing guns.
There have also been documented cases of disease transmission from piercing guns due to a lack of aseptic technique and a basic understanding of disease transmission. The possibility of irritation, infection, and human error is far too high. So, don’t risk it for your baby!
8. Let your baby wear hypoallergenic earrings.
Choose hypoallergenic materials for your baby-piercing earrings. These are sterling silver or 14-, 18-, or 24-karat gold. These metals are unlikely to cause allergic reactions. Nickel should be avoided since it’s known to frequently cause allergic reactions.
Additionally, consider these pointers when shopping for hypoallergenic baby earrings.
Earrings should be small, flat, and round, with no sharp edges.
The earring fastener should extend as far back as possible. To reduce the risk of earrings falling off, use earrings with locking or screw-style backs. These can securely lock and hold the earrings in place despite the rigorous movements of your child.
- Dangling or hanging earrings
All babies wiggle their ears at some point. Also, dangling or hanging designs will usually have loose connectors or screws. Think about the potential damage and danger if your child grabs the dangling earring.
Remember that if the earring falls off and gets into your baby's mouth, he or she may accidentally swallow it.
9. Maintain aftercare hygiene.
Discuss with the professional piercer or pediatrician what to expect after the procedure. The area of the ear around the piercings may become swollen, sensitive, and reddened. Follow these guidelines to promote proper healing and avoid infection:
- Thoroughly handwash with warm water and soap before touching your baby’s ears or earrings.
- Except when cleaning, don’t unnecessarily touch your child’s new piercings.
- Clean the skin surrounding your child’s piercings, front and back, with alcohol on a cotton swab two to three times a day.
- Be certain that the earring backing is secure during each cleaning, and then gently rotate the earrings.
- When combing your hair, speaking on the phone, or wearing headphones, avoid pulling or pushing on the piercings. This will keep a tear from forming in your little one’s ears.
- Refrain from prolonged immersion in water. Avoid swimming in pools and bathtubs during the healing period to reduce the risk of infection
10. Don’t remove your baby’s earrings for six weeks straight.
Remove or change the earrings only after six weeks or for as long as the piercer advises. Also, keep up with regular cleanings throughout this time, and don't slack off, as this could lead to infection.
This is an excellent opportunity to teach older children responsibility, but don’t give your elementary school-aged child sole responsibility for their piercings. Teach your toddler how to care for her earrings while giving her some autonomy and supervising from a distance.
You may consider allowing your child to wear post-earrings for six months only after the six-week healing period to keep the earlobe holes from closing.
11. Always be on the lookout for ear infections.
During the healing process, most individuals, regardless of age, experience minimal discomfort. If you notice any of the following symptoms on your child's ear, especially within 24 hours, the piercing may be infected. Be on the lookout for symptoms.
The symptoms could be a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher. Redness, swelling, and intense heat when touched can sometimes appear at the pierced area. At worst, there are cases of pus discharge from the pierced site.
If your child's ear is pierced incorrectly, it may also not heal properly and develop complications. So, please be on the lookout for body reactions such as ear breaks and tears, deformation of the visible part of the ear (auricles), keloid formation, allergic reactions, embedded backings, and bleeding.
Get Your Child’s Ears Pierced By A Pediatrician
Many young people want to have their ears pierced. Many parents also want their baby girls’ ears pierced already, even while they are still infants. Definitely, every mom would love to have their baby girl look adorable with nicely designed stud earrings.
Remember, though, that ear piercing in children is optional and may be done for cultural or cosmetic reasons. It’s not medically necessary. And it’s also not necessary to have the baby's ear piercings done by a pediatrician.
While there are risks associated with ear piercing in children, these can be reduced by having it done by your pediatrician rather than at a retail jewelry store. In addition, your child may feel more at ease with a doctor or nurse practitioner they know rather than a stranger.
Ear piercings should not be taken lightly, especially in children. Adequate preparations should be observed, as well as hygienic aftercare maintenance. The less daunting the process, the more relaxed your children will be.
Omega Pediatrics offers ear piercing services. If you’re looking for a safe and reliable pediatrician to perform ear piercings for your baby, Omega Pediatrics in Georgia can provide you with high levels of medical expertise for the procedure.
We at Omega Pediatrics will be happy to serve you. After all, we strive to make ear piercing another memorable milestone for your little one!