Ear Piercings Are Typically Very Safe and Secure
Virtually every moment in a young child’s life is a meaningful one. From their first steps and words to their first day of school, parents love celebrating their child’s accomplishments or life milestones. Even something as small as getting your child’s ears pierced can be just as momentous. It may seem trivial to many, but for some parents, it’s a big deal.
If you are a parent who is ready to have your child’s ears pierced, it’s crucial you don’t go into the experience with little to no information on the procedure. While it’s a minor one, ear piercings can be dangerous if the necessary precautions are not taken.
Many parents question when the best time to get their child’s ears pierced. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that “if the piercing is performed carefully and cared for conscientiously, there is little risk, no matter what the age of the child.” However, they also believe that it’s best to hold off on piercings until your child is mature enough to care for it on their own.
Regardless, it is a parent’s preference when their child’s ears are pierced. Tots N Teens Pediatrics is here to answer any questions you may have about ear piercings. Today, we will be providing useful information to help you prepare for your child’s ear piercing.
How Does the Procedure Work
The most important step before deciding to have your little one’s ears pierced is to first find a trusted and experienced professional. You do not want to pierce your child’s ears at home. The risk of infection-causing germs is far too high. Choose a facility that regularly pierces children’s ears, such as at Tots N Teens Pediatrics.
You want to find a facility with a clean and sterile environment. Ensure that the provider you choose operates in a sterile environment with hypoallergenic tools. Ask questions such as:
- Are you licensed?
- How and where do you clean your equipment?
- What equipment do you use?
- What do you do to ensure the procedure is safe and sterile?
Once you’ve chosen a location, the process becomes simple and safe. Depending on where you go, the provider will either take their needle or piercing gun (a needle is used at Tots N Teens Pediatrics because they’re easier to sterilize) and create a hole where they marked a spot. After the hole has been made, they will then insert an earring. The most common area for children’s piercings is on their earlobe.
Make sure that wherever you decide to go has hypoallergenic jewelry to limit the potential for infection. Titanium, 14-karat gold, sterling silver, and surgical-grade steel are all acceptable hypoallergenic metals.
Caring for Earrings
It is crucial that you and your child know how to properly care for a new piercing. Piercings can become infected quite swiftly. There are plenty of things you can do to ensure that your child’s ear piercing stays clean and healthy.
- Clean it twice a day. Wash the area around the piercing twice a day with soap and warm water or with rubbing alcohol. You should also put an antibiotic ointment around the area to avoid infection.
- Avoid touching the piercing. This is critical. This is why many pediatricians advise waiting until your child is older to get their ears pierced. Children’s hands are full of germs, which is why handwashing is so important. If your child is old enough, be sure to explain to them why they shouldn’t touch the earring. The only time you should touch it is to rotate it. This keeps the earring from adhering to the skin as it heals.
- Leave the earring in. For older children, they may want to remove their earring when they go to sleep. However, it’s important to keep the earring in anywhere between 6-8 weeks, or the hole will close up. The only reason to remove an earring is if your child has an infection.
What if there is an Infection?
Infections can and do happen. It’s vital you recognize the early signs of an infection before it’s too late. Your child’s ear may be red and swollen for a few days after their piercing. However, if your child complains that it’s still itchy, it appears red and swollen, or there is discharge, it may be infected.
Clean the earlobe with the earring still in with saltwater and cover it with over-the-counter antibiotic cream. Rotate the piercing, as well. If the infection doesn’t go away, contact your child’s pediatrician right away. They may advise the removal of the piercing. While this may be disappointing, ensuring that your child stays healthy is far more important.
How to Make the Process Easier
As a parent, there are things you can do to ensure the entire ear-piercing procedure goes well. By following some helpful tips, you can make sure your child’s ear piercing is done safely.
- Keep them up to date on their vaccines, especially their tetanus vaccine
- If your child is old enough to understand, tell them there may be some pain during the procedure, so they aren’t blindsided
- Ensure your child has no allergies and the facility uses hypoallergenic material
- Avoid earrings that dangle, like large hoops or chandelier styles. They can get caught on clothing and yanked out
- Ask for simultaneous piercings. If you do each ear separately, your child may become squirmy after the first piercing, which makes it difficult to complete the second one. Call ahead and ask if there are two trained providers available
- Do thorough research before you decide on a piercer
There are many moments in a child’s life that parents adore. Whether it’s their first words or first tooth, these are moments to be celebrated. Even the simple act of getting your child’s ear pierced can be a big deal to many. However, there are plenty of things all parents must be aware of before their child’s piercing. Tots N Teens Pediatrics provides ear piercing services that follow strict sterile procedures. If you wish to schedule your child’s ear piercing or have questions that need answers, contact us today.