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When is it Safe for Children to Have Ears Pierced?

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 12 May 2011 | comments*Discuss
 
Ear Piercing Pierced Children Earrings

It can be a bit of a contentious issue, and many children are keen to have their ears pierced as soon as their parents allow it. But there are safety issues surrounding earrings for children, so when is it safe for parents to really think about letting their children have their ears pierced?

It’s not unusual for young children to want to have their ears pierced, to be able to wear earrings ‘properly’ or keep up with fashion trends. Even children as young as five may yearn to have their ears pierced, as actress Gwyneth Paltrow recently discovered. Her five year old daughter, Apple, reportedly begged and begged her mum to let her have her ears pierced, after finding out from her nanny that Spanish children have their ears pieced when they are babies.

For some parents, though, five may seem like too young an age for earrings, even if they are just studs and not dangly earrings. What’s more, then are some very practical safety considerations to keep in mind.

Children and Earring Safety

However much you may be able to monitor your child’s earring use at home, you can’t keep an eye on them when they’re at school. At home, you can be involved in helping them put earrings on and take them off, but when they’re out of your sight, there’s the temptation for them to have a fiddle themselves.

At school, it may be a requirement for earrings to not be worn for any sport or games lessons, which inevitably involves taking them out. There have been cases of children playing rough and tumble games with friends or siblings and an earring accidentally gets caught, which can cause horribly painful bleeding and ear injuries. It’s only natural for children to want to play and wearing earrings can add an extra hazard into something that should be naturally fun.

It’s also not unusual for anyone who’s recently had their ears pierced to experience weepy ears or infections around the piercing, which can be unpleasant.

Is There An Ideal Age for Piercing?

When it comes to an ideal age at which you could allow your child to have their ears pierced, there’s sadly no one definite age. But it is helpful to go by your gut feeling – do you think your child is really ready for it, or could they still change their mind – and stick to it.

Some parents feel that ear piercings shouldn’t be allowed before a child hits their teens – whether 13, or older at 16. It can be difficult sticking to your decision, as there’s often peer pressure from friend’s at school who’ve already had their ears pierced.

But if you can team up with another parent and promise that their ears can be pierced at a set time, such as after they’ve finished their GCSEs, then the extra parental support can be helpful to you, and the goal motivation encouraging for kids. Just make sure you stick to your promise and let them go through with at the designated time!

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