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Baby Earrings: Is infant piercing safe?

Baby Earrings: Is infant piercing safe?

Piercing the earlobe is a cultural practice done by many of us and can even be traced back to our ancestors. It’s done so that earrings can be attached to the earlobe. It is a common practice for parents to pierce the earlobes of their children while they are still babies. Piercing is commonly done on baby girls. Although piercing is relatively not dangerous, doing it on babies has sparked some controversies on whether or not it is safe to do so. Are baby earrings safe?

Piercing is the practice of putting a hole in the edge of the ear or on the earlobe so that earrings can be attached. This is usually done with the use of a piercing gun or traditionally, a needle.

Baby Earrings: Risks of Piercing

Piercing a baby’s ears depends on the parent. They can choose to have the baby’s ear pierced as early as 5 months old but they can also opt to do it later.

Before choosing baby earrings, here are some things to consider:

Safety

Piercing is safe if done correctly but if it is done in the wrong area of the ear or the tools used are not safe then it can pose a huge risk on the baby.

Complications of baby earrings or piercings include:

Contact Allergies

The baby might be allergic to some metals used in jewelry and might lead to them having allergic reactions. Allergies to nickel are the most common.

Bloodborne disease

If the equipment used in the procedure was not sterile, it might lead to the baby getting infected with bloodborne diseases such as hepatitis, HIV, and tetanus.

Skin Infection

If the wound is not properly taken care of, bacteria can enter the wound and cause it to get irritated and infected. If a baby gets a fever from the piercing, they might have to get admitted to the hospital.

Time of Healing

A piercing takes about 6 weeks or more before the wound heals. The parent has to take care of the wound to avoid any infection. At this point, the baby might also experience pain and irritation from the wound.

Benefits of Piercing a Baby’s ears

Piercing is risky especially if it is not done correctly but there are some benefits to piercing a baby’s ear other than aesthetics.

  • They won’t remember the pain – It will be painful for the baby but it is not a pain that they will remember as they grow older.
  • Easier to get pierced – It is easier to bring a baby to have their ears pierced than to bring a child who might already be aware of the pain that they will go through. If the piercing is done at the age of 3 and above, they are most likely going to fear the procedure and will be fully aware of the irritation brought by the piercing.
  • Less prone to later infections – Compared to babies, children are more likely to fiddle with their earrings with dirty hands which makes them more prone to later infections.

Tips on Safe Piercing

If parents do decide to have their baby’s ear pierced, here are some tips to remember:

  • Have it done by a professional – Have the piercing done in a sterile and safe environment possibly by a healthcare professional or experienced technician. Some medical clinics offer ear piercings. Make sure that the tools used are sterile and the person doing the piercing is using gloves. Avoid doing any traditional methods of piercing on a baby such as manual piercing as these methods are very risky.
  • Use gold or any hypoallergenic baby earrings – To lessen the likelihood of allergies, using sterling silver or gold stud baby earrings is the best option. Avoid using earrings with nickel as this can commonly cause irritation and allergies. Avoid earrings that are dangling as this might get caught on anything and cause tearing.
  • Do not get your baby pierced if they have autoimmune disease – If the baby has a weak immune system or a disease that might worsen if they get sick, avoid getting them pierced. It would be best to consult a doctor first before having the baby’s ear pierced.
  • Clean the baby’s ears – It takes about 6 weeks before the wound heals. While it is still healing the parent must clean and apply antibiotic ointment on the earlobe without removing the baby earrings. This should be done especially during the first few days after the piercing.
  • Rotate the baby earrings every day – It is advised that the first pair of earrings should not be removed for at least 4 weeks to avoid the piercing from closing. During the 4 weeks, rotate the baby earring every day to keep it from adhering to the skin while it is healing. It is recommended to keep wearing the initial pair for 6 months.

Key Takeaways

Piercing is a traditional practice done so that earrings can be attached to the earlobe. This is a practice that is done not just in adults but also in infants. Piercing is generally safe but it can be risky especially if done to a baby since they cannot take care of the wound by themselves.

Having the piercing done by a professional and doing it in a sterile environment significantly reduces the risk of infections. Parents should also take time to clean the ear and provide a good pair of hypoallergenic earrings to avoid any infections or allergic reactions.

Learn more baby care tips here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

What to Expect When Getting Your Baby’s Ears Pierced

health.clevelandclinic.org/what-to-expect-when-getting-your-ears-pierced/

Accessed September 10, 2021

The Risks of Infant Ear Piercing

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/articles/the-risks-of-infant-ear-piercing

Accessed March 25, 2021

Ear Piercing Symptoms

https://www.seattlechildrens.org/conditions/a-z/ear-piercing-symptoms/

Accessed March 25, 2021

Piercings: How to prevent complications

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/piercings/art-20047317

March 25, 2021

Ear Piercing

https://pedsinreview.aappublications.org/content/40/1/49

March 25, 2021

 

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Written by Hazel Caingcoy Updated 2 weeks ago
Fact Checked by Bianchi Mendoza, R.N.
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