Kylie Jenner, 20, pierced her 5-month-old daughter Stormi’s ears. The makeup mogul isn’t the first nor will be the last mother to pierce her baby’s ears but it has sparked a debate: Is it ok to pierce a child’s ears and is it safe?
In some culture’s it isn’t about vanity to pierce a child’s ears but a tradition which is normal in the Latina community. But whether you want to wear matching earrings with your kiddo or you’re following a cultural tradition there are safety measures that should be taken when piercing a child’s ears.
John Hopkins pediatric resident Suzanne Rossi weighs in on the debate and shares the advice she gives to parents. “I usually try to recommend to families that they get past the six-month immunizations to reduce their risk of tetanus and blood-borne infections,” she explained. “We also make sure the parents are taking [children] to a reputable place to decrease the risk of infection.”
Complications that can occur when piercing a child’s ears include, discharge, backings embedded in the earlobe and bleeding. According to the AAP for adolescent tattoos and piercings, it is imperative that following the procedure rubbing alcohol or an antibiotic ointment needs to be applied to the ears twice daily for a few days to cut down on the risk of infection.
Rotating the earrings daily is also a crucial step in the healing process and it is recommended by the AAP that the starter earrings stay in the ears for 6 weeks before being removed and replaced with a new set of earrings.
Piercing a child’s ear and at what age is it ok has been a long time debate. In 2013, Today, did a story about a letter signed, “Leave Those Kids Alone” in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette advice column that leaned toward piercing an infant as “borderline child abuse.”
The column caused a backlash from both sides, most agreeing with the letter but there was a strong case from the opposing side. Many weighed in that piercing infant ears comes down to a cultural decision, plain and simple.
This topic seems to be an ongoing debate but what any parent must remember is: Unless you are choosing to pierce your infant’s ears because of a cultural upbringing that you are passing along, piercing a child’s ears is purely for appearance sake and nothing else.