Ear Piercing for Kids: Why a Pediatrician Should Do It
Ear piercing is an ancient art going back 5000 years and has evolved since its earliest days. Today, we use medical-grade piercers to insure a sterile procedure, in a safe and clean place for the piercing to take place, done by a pediatrician who is trained to give your child the best care in all areas.
Peace of Mind Piercing
The Inverness Ear Piercing System uses single-use cassettes which minimize the chance of infection at the piercing site. Using this system also eliminates the possibility of patient-to-patient cross-contamination because only the single-use part of the equipment ever comes in contact with the skin at the piercing site. The unique, fully-enclosed earring capsules guarantee the safest ear piercing possible by preventing the piercing earring and Safety Back™ from being exposed to possible contaminants prior to piercing. The patented Inverness Safety Back™ is designed to shield the sharp piercing tip and prevent the earring back from being squeezed too tight. This promotes safer healing by allowing proper air flow while the piercing heals.
Risks of Ear Piercing for Kids
There are risks associated with ear piercing for kids, with infection being the most common. Allergies are also sometimes an issue, and in rare cases, piercings can tear.
- Infection: There is a risk of all ear piercings getting infected, but with children, the risk can be greater, especially when they are very young. If a child is not old enough or responsible enough to care for their own ear piercings, then it falls on parents to keep them clean and healthy.
- Allergies: Sometimes children will have an allergic reaction to the materials used in earrings. That’s because some metals contain nickel, a common allergen for a lot of people. It’s recommended that one use only earrings made of either a precious metal like gold or another nickel-free metal like titanium or surgical steel.
- Tearing: People of all ages are at risk of tearing the piercing site if the earring gets pulled or snags on something. This is mostly an issue with long, dangling earrings. Children should only wear stud earrings that don’t dangle until they are older. After studs, a type of earring called a “huggie” that is more like a hoop, but stays close to the earlobe is recommended.
- Keloids: Keloids are shiny, smooth and rounded skin elevations, which are a type of scar tissue, which can form at the piercing site in some patients after the earlobe piercing because of altered wound healing. Keloids tend to run in some families, are more likely to occur in patients with darker skin pigmentation, and generally occur in people 10 to 30 years of age.
Ear Piercing Safety and Care
After your child’s ears are pierced, you should carefully follow the instructions your pediatrician gives you to care for the new piercings. The American Academy of Pediatrics has comprehensive guidelines on how to avoid infections after ear piercing, but here are the basics:
- Leave earrings in for at least 6 weeks after the piercing. This is the standard length of time a piercing takes to heal and if earrings are removed before this point, the hole may close.
- Stick to post or stud earrings for the first several months after piercing. Very small children should wear studs until they get older.
- Don’t touch a piercing unless you are cleaning it.
- Wash hands before touching a piercing to clean it.
- Regularly clean ear piercings two to three times a day. Use alcohol on a cotton swab and clean the front and back of the piercing. Make sure to get to the actual piercing under the earring.
- Ensure the back of the earring is on and secure (but not on too tight) during cleaning.
- Rotate the post of the earring gently during each cleaning.
- Take care not to pull on earrings when washing or brushing hair to prevent tears.
- Try to keep your child out of hot tubs, pools, and natural bodies of water during healing if possible. A lot of people swim with newly pierced ears and are fine, but exposure to the water may increase the chance of infection. If children do go swimming, make sure to clean the piercings afterward.
- Keep an eye out for symptoms of infection like itchiness, redness, pain or sensitivity, and discharge.
We will do ear piercing for infants aged 2.5 months to 12 months and for children 5 years of age and older. We recommend ear piercing after age 2.5 months. Waiting until children are 2.5 months old ensures that they have had their first set of vaccines and allows the ear to grow big enough to allow for accurate placing of the earring. All eligible patients should be up to date on all vaccines.
- We charge $200. This price includes the permanent pair of hypoallergenic earrings of your choice, pre-procedure numbing cream, the piercing done by a MD, and the after care cleaning kit and instructions.
- The parent can choose 1 pair of the following earrings:
- 4 mm White Pearl
- 3 mm Silver or Gold Titanium Ball
- Any Birthstone crystal in Titanium setting
- Full cash only payment is due when you check in for your ear piercing appointment.
Where do we pierce? We only pierce ear lobes and only do one to two piercings per lobe per visit. We do not pierce ear cartilage (the upper part of the ear), noses, or belly buttons.
By appointment only: Ear piercings are only done during visits solely dedicated to the medical ear-piercing procedure. We do ear piercing by appointment only and not as an “add on” to another sick or well visit. This allows enough time to perform the procedure, explain and answer questions about the aftercare.
To make an appointment, call 781-772-1527 and talk to Kristin, for full information.