Whether the time has come for a little one to get their ears pierced or you're ready to get them pierced yourself, here are a few things you should know before you pierce.
In some cultures, babies have their first ear piercing early on. If you want to have your baby's ears pierced, it's wise to consult your pediatrician ahead of time.
If you don't pierce your baby's ears, it's probably best to wait until your child is old enough to responsibly take care of the piercings as they heal. The demand for ear piercing usually starts around age nine or ten and only intensifies as more children at school get their piercings and show off their new earrings.
Process, safety and cleaning
An air gun or needle is often used. Whichever method you choose, make sure everything is sanitized and the practitioner is wearing surgical gloves. Some pediatricians even pierce ears, so consider giving your doctor's office a call.
Choose a metal that's free of nickel or only has trace amounts. For babies, screw-on backs are a safe choice because friction backs can easily loosen and a choking hazard could occur.
Earrings must stay in the ear for at least six weeks to allow the hole to heal. During that time, the piercing should be cleaned a twice a day with a sterile saline solution made for wound care and clean cotton swabs. To prevent scar tissue from attaching, earrings should also be rotated a couple of times a day. Most piercing facilities will supply you with a cleaning solution and detailed aftercare instructions.
After six weeks, you are ready to change your earrings and try new styles. To avoid the holes closing, continue to keep earrings in.
With babies, choose earrings with short posts that are nickel-free or contain trace amounts. Tiny hoops or drops are not recommended because they could catch on clothing or other objects and are easier for babies to pull on.
Don't forget to take your tween shopping for new earrings after six weeks! Popular styles include butterflies, bees, hearts and personal birthstones.
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