As a parent, you may be struggling to figure out how you feel about piercing your child’s ears. A kids’ ear piercing is certainly a responsibility, but it can also allow your child to express themselves in all kinds of fun ways.
Ear piercing guidelines also vary between cultures, and you may be wondering how to honor your family’s traditions.
If you’re wondering what the right age for ear piercing is, keep reading. We’ll tell you all about the pros and cons of an ear piercing for your child.
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Are Ear Piercings Healthy for Kids?
While making this decision, you’re probably considering your child’s health first and foremost. The safety of an ear piercing varies depending on how young your child is.
Infant Ear Piercing
Ear piercings are generally very safe, but they do carry the risk of infection.
Newborn piercings can put your child at a higher risk of infection than normal. However, once your child is at least three months old, that risk dramatically decreases.
Newborns don’t have strong immune systems yet. They need some time out of the womb to develop natural immunity to the germs that are all around us.
If you’re going to get your infant’s ears pierced, we recommend waiting until they are at least three months old.
Keep in mind that you will have to clean your baby’s piercing often, which can be difficult when they’re so young.
Toddler Ear Piercing
If you’re considering toddler ear piercing, you don’t have to worry about extra infection risks. By the time your child is a toddler, they’ll have a strong immune system that can handle an ear piercing.
Caring for your child’s ear piercing can also be easier when they are a toddler. You can communicate with them about what you’re doing, and even teach them how to help take care of their piercing.
Plus, a slightly older child is less likely to accidentally irritate their piercing, which makes their risk of infection even less.
What if My Child Asks for a Piercing?
Some parents question the ethics of piercing a child’s ears before they are old enough to ask for a piercing themselves. But what do you do when your child asks to get their ears pierced?
As a parent, you may be asking yourself: is my child too young to decide that they want an ear piercing?
To that, we say: don’t worry — an ear piercing isn’t the huge commitment that it may seem!
Many people’s ears heal up quickly without an earring in them. If your child decides they no longer want to wear earrings, they can take them out and the hole may disappear altogether.
Even if their piercing doesn’t completely heal up, it will not be noticeable without an earring in it.
If your kid asks for an ear piercing, the most important thing to do is explain what’s going to happen and how it’s going to feel.
Prepare your child for the fact that their piercing is going to hurt for a moment, so they aren’t taken by surprise. Make sure they understand, as well, that they will need to take good care of their new piercing for at least six weeks.
A good rule of thumb: if your child is old enough to talk to you about an ear piercing and what it entails, they’re old enough to ask for one.
Kids’ Ear Piercing in Different Cultures
Infant ear piercing is a controversial topic because it reflects the vast differences between certain cultures. In some Hispanic cultures, for example, it is common to pierce a baby girl’s ears almost as soon as she is born.
Although infant ear piercing does carry a higher risk of infection in theory, this doesn’t change the fact that Hispanic families have long been piercing their kids’ ears in the first hours of their lives.
This just goes to show us that, though infant ear piercings require lots of care and attention, they can be done safely.
Hindu families often pierce their children’s ears between the ages of one and five years old. This is a Hindu sacrament called Karnavedha, and both young boys and girls receive it.
This tradition shatters another misconception about kids’ ear piercings: that it’s just for young girls. The fact is, in many cultures, including Western culture, it is normal and fashionable for a boy to have an ear piercing!
The Best Earrings For Kids
Once your child’s piercing is healed, the fun can begin; you get to take them shopping for stylish kids’ earrings!
Here are a few pro tips for shopping for kids’ earrings. Young ears need special care, so make sure you’re buying the best.
High quality metals, such as 24K gold, are essential for kids’ earrings. Anyone can have a bad reaction to low-quality metal, but kids are especially susceptible.
Cheaply made jewelry (also known as costume jewelry) often leaves dusty or green discoloration on the skin. This is because these “metals” are made of ingredients that easily flake off and irritate us.
Your kiddo may be extra susceptible to a reaction like this, because children often have extra sensitive skin.
Make the investment in high-quality metals so that you don’t have to replace any cheap jewelry or deal with an infection.
Not all types of earrings are created equally; especially for kids. You should mostly buy your child earrings that they can put on themselves.
You should always start out with simple studs until the piercing is healed. After that, your child can branch out into dangling earrings, hoops, and larger studs.
Hoop earrings can be most difficult for kids to put on themselves, so you may want to save these until your child is a bit older.
Dangling earrings are usually the easiest to put on, making them a great choice for the expressive and fashion-minded young child.
Studs are always a great option, especially for children who love to stay active. Make sure your kid knows how to put earring backs on properly, so that they don’t get lost during spirited games of tag.
For infant piercings, we recommend sticking with studs. They’re the easiest earrings for you to put on your infant, and they’re most likely to stay put.
While your kid might love the idea of a huge dangly earring or a very wide hoop, proceed with caution; young earlobes are delicate and can’t handle too much weight.
Wearing earrings is something the body needs to get used to, and it’s best to start your kid off with some lightweight studs, small hoops, or lightweight dangling earrings before moving on to the big stuff.
You can always let your child try on a heavier pair of earrings, so they can see how they feel.
Your child knows their comfort levels best, and with your guidance, they can move up to bigger and bolder earrings at a comfortable rate.
Earrings With Special Meaning
Your kid is bound to love a pair of earrings that seems like it was specially made for them.
A pair of studs with your child’s birthstone in them is always a good choice.
If your child is obsessed with a certain animal, you can look for dangling earrings that depict that animal. Cartoon frogs, pandas, and cats all make adorable earrings!
You can also get your child earrings that match their star sign, if they’re interested in the zodiac.
If you and your child like to do crafts together, you can even make earrings for them at home! You can buy earring making kits at your local craft store and turn your child’s new accessory into an afternoon of fun!
The possibilities are endless when it comes to earrings with special meaning for your child. You know them best, so look for something special that they’ll want to wear every day!
This will also make your child more likely to take good care of their earrings.
Treat a Kids’ Ear Piercing With Care
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a kids’ ear piercing, as long as it’s properly cared for! Always keep an eye on your child’s piercing during the first 6 weeks of healing.
Once your child’s piercing is healed, the fun can truly begin! Shop for kids’ earring styles that suit your child’s unique personality and help them learn how to express themselves.
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