Baby ear piercing – Should you pierce her ears?
Although, piercing your baby’s ears is a controversial topic in some countries, it is customary in Sri Lanka. So, when you get a baby girl, it is very common to give a gold ear studs to the new born baby as a gift. Sri Lankan parents believe that a girl must wear earrings and it is a symbol of femininity. Hence, they tend to pierce their baby’s ears. Most of the parents believe that it’s more painful for the child if you wait until she’s older. So, they pierce their baby’s ears in early stages like within first 03 months.
Experts said that, there is a little risk at any age if piercing is done properly and carefully. But, there is a potential risk of piercing your baby at early stages. As soon as you pierce your baby’s ears you open up the opportunity for infections. Since your baby is still developing her immune system, sometimes they may not be able to fight against these infections. Therefore, it is recommended to wait until child is old enough to take care of the piercing herself.
If you really need to pierce your baby’s ears follow proper and careful methods to do it.
- Consult your pediatrician before piercing your baby’s ears.
- Select a talented person (Pediatrician is the best) or go for the right piercing place, because they will use sterile equipment and follow basic safety procedures)
- Never take your baby to a jewelry store or shopping mall to do the piercing. They may not follow the basic safety procedures and your baby may get infections.
- Check whether the technician follows basic safety protocol (Wash hands, Put new gloves, Clean your daughter's earlobes with an alcohol pad, Take sterile ear piercer out of its unopened packaging.) It is must you check these things. This is your baby and you have to ensure her safety.
- Ask them to use a numbing cream to make the process less painful.
- Choose baby earrings that are very small, round and flat in front.
- Always go for earrings that are made of surgical steel or of gold that's at least 14 karat.
- Sterile earrings before piercing.
Preventing complications after piercing
As soon as the piercing is done your vital role starts. You have to monitor it closely for few months. Although, it seemed ok in first few weeks, still it can get infections after that.
- Don’t remove earrings for six weeks as this may cause the hole to close.
- During that time, wipe some alcohol around the ear lobe twice a day, and twist the earrings at least once a day. Make sure to wash your hands well before touching your baby’s ears.
- After each bath, dry the area around piercing very carefully.
- Watch out for any infections. These infections can include, pain, discharge, inflammation, itching and bleeding. If you notice any of these signs, remove the earrings right away and consult the pediatrician.
- Go to the hospital immediately, if your baby runs a fever or the earlobe gets very red and swollen.
Baby ear piercing is a very personal decision. You have to decide whether you do it sooner or later. Since, this is customary in Sri Lanka, parents may think that if they do not pierce their baby’s ears in early stages it is not good. But, you are doing a bad thing by piercing her ears too early. The only thing, that happens if you don’t pierce is it will be somewhat difficult to find out whether this is a girl or boy in younger ages. But, that doesn’t do any harm to your child. If your child gets infected by piercing too early it is such a bad thing. So, our recommendation is to wait until she can take care of piercing herself. Or, let her take the decision, whether she needs to pierce her ears or not.