Whether your child is a teen, tween, or just old enough, getting their ears pierced can be risky business if you don’t take the right steps to get it done correctly. There are plenty of outlet malls, kiosks, and tween stores that pierce children’s ears, but the fact is, getting it done right can mean the difference between a good, healthy piercing, and one that’s done incorrectly with improper tools. Here, we’ll go over four things to keep in mind when you’re getting your child’s ears pierced, so you can avoid wasting money and putting your child’s health at risk.
1. Improper Piercing is a Health Risk
When a piercing is done incorrectly, it’s nothing less than a health risk. Proper piercing takes care, precision, a steady (and experienced) piercer, and most of all, the right equipment. Most kiosks and outlet mall stores use a piercing gun, which uses brute force to push an earring stud through the tissue or cartilage of the ear.
Along with a more painful and brutal process comes the risk of contamination. Since piercing guns typically contain plastic parts, they can’t be sterilized properly; which can lead to the risk of transmission of bloodborne pathogens from one customer to the next. Plastic parts can’t be super-heated by an autoclave, so they can’t be properly sterilized; even with chemicals and cleaners.
With blunt-force trauma, damage can be done to earlobes and cartilage, whereas with a needle, there is no trauma. The needle is quick, efficient, and, most of all, sterilized. When you’re thinking about getting your child’s ears pierced it’s crucial that you view the procedure as nothing less than a minor medical procedure that should be carried out by professionals only.
2. Cheaper is Almost Never Better
The allure of outlet malls and piercing kiosks is usually the price and convenience. Most kiosks are located in high-traffic areas and don’t require an appointment like a piercing studio would. The prices are usually incredibly cheap, and there are even plenty of jewelry options to choose from right there at the kiosk. The jewelry itself is also cheap, making the entire experience more “affordable.”
You’re probably wondering why affordable is in quotation marks? While the cost of a piercing kiosk as far as finances go is relatively minimum, the greater cost of your child’s health is much more impactful. If your child contracts a pathogen or disease because of the piercing procedure, that $20 you saved becomes almost meaningless. Remember that cheaper is almost never better.
Pay the extra money and take the extra time to set up an appointment at a professional piercing shop when getting your child’s ears pierced to avoid possible infection. Not to mention, that cheap jewelry at the kiosk is usually loaded with nickel, which is an allergenic metal that causes irritation, swelling, and more. Hypoallergenic earrings can be found in shops and earring gift boxes, and should always be your first choice.
3. Aftercare is Essential
After getting your child’s ears pierced, it’s imperative that you take care of the piercing in order to prevent infection and ensure proper healing. Infection is a miserable experience, especially for a child; so be sure to take care of the piercing by following the piercer’s recommendations. According to this article (written by a pediatrician), the piercing should be kept clean and not be touched except when cleaning.
Using hypoallergenic earrings is a must, as well as washing your hands before you come into contact with the pierced area. Be gentle with your child’s earrings and the ear for at least six weeks, and do not remove or change the earrings for this amount of time to allow proper healing.
Watch closely for signs of infection, such as swelling, redness, increased pain around the area, or discharge from the opening. These signs should be addressed immediately with a healthcare professional. Never attempt to handle an infection at home!
4. High-Quality Earrings Matter
We’ve briefly mentioned hypoallergenic earrings earlier in the article, but it’s time to take a closer look at why higher-quality jewelry is so important to a new piercing. The metal nickel is found in jewelry, faucets, batteries, electronics, and more; it’s prevalent in just about every product we use on a daily basis. However, that being said, about 10 to 20 percent of the population is allergic to nickel.
Allergic reactions range in severity from simple swelling or redness and discomfort to extreme swelling, itchy rash, and more. Nickel has been found to have many negative side effects on the human body, and thus, we should minimize our contact with the metal as much as possible.
Not to mention, a bad experience when getting your child’s ears pierced can cause your child to have a negative relationship with piercings altogether. Choose high-quality, hypoallergenic earrings for the best results. A gift box for earrings is always a good choice, as most of these services’ earrings are nickel-free.
Final Thoughts on Getting Your Child’s Ears Pierced
When it comes to getting your child’s ears pierced, doing some research ahead of time can make all of the difference between a healthy piercing and a bad experience that could possibly scare your child away from piercings altogether.