ENT Center of Austin - Doctor's Blog

Ear Piercing and Children

There are downsides to every action we take when it concerns our children. You don't want a small child to get its first buzz from an electric outlet. It's not a good idea for them to put things in their mouth that could hurt them. The list goes on-end-on in our quest to child-proof their environment. Nothing's worse than having to rush your infant to the hospital because of his unending curiosity.

Ear Piercing

Young teens aside; it's hip these days to some kids to get tattoos and piercing various parts of their bodies. Hopefully, you have an open-minded conversation with them to explain that body-art can last forever. So, they should think about the consequences.

But infants especially are at the mercy of their parents. No conversation with a baby that has just begun to figure out how to say more than "mama" and "papa."

About Ear Piercing and Children
Let's look at the drawbacks of making a small hole in their earlobes. This may not be a shining moment in the annals of your relationship with your infant. There are issues you need to be aware of before the first needle pricks their sensitive skin. Actually, most experts advise against the practice. Why?

•    Gold is pretty but it's not the best placeholder for a piercing of any type. Many folks have allergic reactions to the precious metal.
•    Still intent on doing it? Go with stainless steel. It's hypoallergenic, smooth and non-porous. Another word to remember comes to use from Wikipedia. It's called Detritus.

o    "Detritus does not stick as vigorously, and it is easier to keep clean. Hoops are the best shape, as they slide easier, and you can move them around. As for cleaning the piercing, alcohol is far, far too harsh for new piercings but obviously, many people do fine with it. However, for those with tender, sensitive skin, particularly with a fresh wound, alcohol is too caustic and drying, and can thus hinder the healing process as well as cause additional irritation problems."

•    The use of a piercing gun is bad. It's antiquated. Even those who do little holes in a person's skin will tell you it's a no-no. This type of device crates a wound which is off-the-charts as opposed to a sterilize piercing needle. That means a piercing gun will make the mark much harder to heal.
•    DIY piercing at home is a really bad idea. You can't get the needle as sterile as a professional. You're traveling down the road to disaster by taking this approach.
•    You don't care about the ethical issues and decide to do it regardless. Find a reputable piercing parlor. It's not going to cost you an arm-and-a-leg. Look for someone who uses sterile equipment and has a boatload of experience.

The ENT Center of Austin strongly recommends that you wait. Think about it. It may be cute to have a baby with tiny, little pierced ears. But in the interest of the infant -- hold on. A child coming down with tetanus is not a day-in-the-park. The bacteria is everywhere. Probably the vaccine regimen will protect the baby from what people used to call "lock jaw." If you're still going to do this to your infant, make sure that the child has had at least two tetanus shots before any needles are brought into play. Roughly translated, that means wait until the child has reached her six-month birthday.

We leave you with one not-so-fun fact. In the early 1900's, most folks would pierce their bodies with the help of a sharp-shooter. They'd actually subject the person to a gunshot to the earlobe. Ouch!

Image Source: Health Mad

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