What you need to know before getting your child’s ears pierced

Are you thinking about getting your child’s ears pierced? Or have they expressed an interest themselves and you’re deciding if you should let them? This handy guide will tell you what to expect.

What is the right age to get your child’s ears pierced?

This is a question that is often asked but isn’t easily answered. Some people believe that parents shouldn’t pierce their child’s ears until they are old enough to ask for it themselves. However, other parents like to get them pierced while they are young enough to not fiddle with the earrings or try and take them out.

As there are no legal restrictions regarding piercing a child’s ears, the truth is that it is really down to what you are comfortable with as a parent. It’s worth knowing though that professional piercers agree that toddlers can be the most difficult to pierce as they will often refuse to sit still while getting them done.

How can you make the experience less painful?

Most younger children will cry when they get their ears pierced, but you will minimise any pain by making sure that you use a trusted professional piercer.

There are also a number of sprays and creams available that you can apply beforehand to help numb the area. However, it’s more important that you talk to your child and try and relieve their anxieties just like you would if they were going for an injection.

How long will the piercings take to heal and what can’t my child do in the meantime?

There is no one size fits all when it comes to how long it takes for piercings to fully heal. You should not remove or replace the initial earring for at least six weeks, but after that, it could take anywhere between four to six months to heal to the point where it won’t close up again.

It is important that you make sure you monitor your child's ears for infection even if you think they are old enough to look after them themselves. Primary school-age children are the most at risk due to their exposure to other children and germs. Your child should avoid swimming in the sea or untreated water for the first two weeks. They should also wear plasters over their ears while playing sports for the first six weeks when they can’t take their earring out.

What type of earrings should I choose as their first pair?

You should always choose stud earrings for your child’s first pair to avoid them catching. It’s also important that you choose a nickel-safe material to avoid your child having an allergic reaction to the studs. Hypoallergenic options such as surgical steel earrings are a really good choice for anyone looking to wear jewellery, as it avoids the worry of having a reaction and also it's great quality jewellery that doesn't tarnish.

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