Monday, 24 October 2016

Do Your Ears Hang Low? - Infants, Kids & Ear Piercing...The Debate Part 3

This post is part 3 (and the final portion) of the infant ear piercing debate and discusses while some people wanted to wait, and some thoughts on why others were glad they didn't.  To read part 1 about the benefits for piercing an infant's ears click here to read part two click here.

Picture of a standard piercing gun courtesy of Wikipedia 

Avoid the piercing gun

Earring advocates and piercers everywhere will be able to tell you about the benefits of going to a professional piercer, not a kiosk at the mall, to get a piercing. Piercing guns can’t be sterilized the same way that a needle used by professional piercers is cleaned. While it may seem strange to take a child into a tattoo parlour or piercing salon to get something as simple as an ear piercing, by hiring someone trained in piercing parents gain access to a professional and a higher quality of earrings available for purchase.

Coping when a piercing goes wrong

Infections can happen with earrings to adults, kids, and babies. What’s done is done, but being prepared and knowing what to do to treat a potential infection is key. Knowing the difference between an allergy and an infection will help you better treat the ear. An infected piercing will look red and swollen and contain a pus discharge. The solution is to clean daily with soap and water in addition to using alcohol twice a day. If an infection doesn’t clear within a few days, it’s best for parents to connect with their health care practitioner to get a prescription for an antibiotic cream or oral antibiotic. Infections should clear up within four or so days when using antibiotics. An allergic reaction is more likely to cause dry, itchy or peeling skin. If it’s an allergy the best bet is to take out the earrings and let them heal over, making sure that when the ears are re-pierced (it’s best to wait six months to do this) that stainless steel earrings are used.

Is there a health risk?

Many people wonder if there are any health risks associated for their child getting a piercing, whether their 12 months or 12-years-old. The American Academy of Pediatrics believe that there is very little risk for children getting their ears pierced at any age, so long as the piercing itself is performed in a careful, professional, and safe manner. No ice cubes and sewing needles at home people! They also recommend that parents wait until the child is old enough to care for their own piercing. All of this being said, the decision needs to be based on what is right for the family, their preferences, culture, or traditions.

After Care

By purchasing quality earrings that will stay in place parents can reduce the instances of piercing related infection in their children. It is recommended that new piercings not be removed at all for the first six to eight weeks after the piercing. To prevent infection in a new piercing a clean cloth with some rubbing alcohol should be wiped around the ear two times each day. Twisting of the earrings once a day is also recommended. New earrings that are made of surgical steel or gold 14K or greater are the least likely to cause an infection.

To read part 1 about the benefits for piercing an infant's ears click here to read part two click here.

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