If your child or you are especially nervous about the piercing process or you suspect there might be other complications, you might want to have the ear piercing done by a pediatrician's office. Our nursing staff at Pediatric Health Care at Newton-Wellesley is skilled at piercing and using the Inverness system.
Ear Piercing Fees:
Patients of the Practice.............$60.00
What age is best?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, ear piercing in children should be postponed until the child can properly fight off potential infection and take care of the area themselves; usually 7 or 8 years old. If you prefer not to wait that long, we would recommend waiting until after 4 months to make sure your baby’s ear lobes are developed and they have received their first two tetanus vaccines. Although we do pierce many baby ears, we personally prefer to wait until they are old enough to want their ears pierced and to care for their own earlobes and earrings. Toddlers and preschoolers can be challenging because they often won’t sit still. We prefer not to hold down a child for a solely cosmetic procedure. We’ve also had a few kindergartners who after one side, refuse to get the other side pierced, so make sure your child really wants her ears pierced before you start.
What should piercing studs be made of?
Look for piercing studs without nickel. This is especially important if there is a history of irritation or infection with piercings or previous piercings in the same spot. We prefer to use 24k gold plated studs. Titanium or nickel free stainless steel is also fine. All equipment must be sterile, of course. We use a piercing gun with piercing studs embedded in a disposable cartridge.
How to you ensure the holes are symmetric?
Nobody has perfectly symmetrical earlobes, so when placing dots we take accurate measurements, but also look to make sure the holes are visually symmetric or look good. We tell parents that we can hit the dot exactly, so we want them to make sure they like the position of the dots before we go ahead and pierce.
Other factors to consider:
Make sure your child does not have soccer, karate or another sport where they have to remove piercing studs for at least 2 months or holes will close. Also, it’s best to avoid hanging or heavy earrings for at least 6 months after a new piercing as it can pull on the hole and create a larger or elongated hole.
How long should you wait before changing earrings?
The ideal time to leave in piercing studs is 2 – 6 months because piercing studs are a bit thicker and over time the holes contract. If piercing studs are left in place too long, you may end up with a larger hole. For infants, we like to wait 3 months, but older children and teens can switch out their earrings after 2 months.
What’s the best way to care for earlobes after piercing?
Always wash hands before touching ear lobes as initially, the hole is essentially an open sore. We have seen school aged children who touch their earlobes or play with their earrings all day and end up with an infection.
Use rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide (we prefer rubbing alcohol) and clean the front and back twice a day for the first month, then at night or after bathing for the next month.
Continue cleaning your earlobe and earrings with rubbing alcohol every time you put new earrings on to prevent infection.
Signs to look for after piercing that something may be wrong.
If there is any soreness, redness or pus at the site of piercing, see your doctor right away.
Sometimes, if it is a mild infection or irritation we can save the earring, by cleaning and use a strong antibiotic ointment at the site. Sometimes it is worse and the earring needs to be removed, oral antibiotics are prescribed and after a period of time (6 to 12 months) the ear can be re-pierced (in this case we recommend re-piercing with plastic). Rarely the infection is so bad that the earring backing is swallowed up by the earlobe and must be removed by an Ears Nose and Throat doctor under sedation.
Is it possible to bring our own purchased earrings to have them put in our child's ears?
Our system uses preloaded sterile earrings to pierce the ears, however, the earrings will eventually be able to be replaced after the ears heal.
Take home message:
If you are considering piercing your child’s ears, please find a trained professional, be diligent about keeping the area clean and see your pediatrician right away if there is any sign of infection or irritation.