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When Should I Let My Daughter Get Her Ears Pierced?

Piercing guns are the standard tool used for most ear piercings.
In some families, girls may not be allowed to pierce their ears until they are adults.
Proper care, including using hydrogen peroxide to cleanse the ears, is imperative to avoid infection.
Children who have difficulty remembering to perform chores or bring home their homework may also be a little too distracted to care for any piercings.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2014
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When you should allow your daughter, or son in some cases, to get her ears pierced is a matter of some debate. In certain cultures, it is traditional pierce an infants' ears. For those living in the US, UK, Australia or Canada, the age varies, and some girls get their ears pierced prior to attending school, while others have to wait until they are 12 or 13. In some families, girls are not allowed to pierce their ears until they are adults.

If you aren’t fulfilling certain cultural norms by getting a child’s ears pierced, it makes sense to wait until the child is mature enough to take good care of the piercings herself. Pierced ears become easily infected without the proper care, so a girl should be able to follow care guidelines first.

Although some girls can comply with such guidelines before the age of 12, those who are less conscious of basic hygiene may have a hard time performing routine ear care. Children who have difficulty remembering to perform chores or bring home their homework may also be a little too distracted to care for any piercings yet.

For many years, it has been fashionable for girls to have multiple piercings in their ears. You should never allow first piercings in the ears to be multiples. Instead, allow the girl to have one piercing in each earlobe, and wait and watch how she cares for them before allowing any more.

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Rarely, piercings through the cartilage in the upper part of the ear can cause serious damage the ear, resulting in difficult to treat infections. Because cartilage does not have its own blood supply, oral antibiotics cannot reach infections there. This can result in serious illness and cartilage deformation. If a child wants multiple piercings, consider waiting until she is 18, and discourage cartilage piercing at any time.

Parents should know to watch for certain signs of problems when they allow their daughters to have their ears pierced. For example, if an earlobe seems red, swollen, or feels hard, it is probably infected. Second, watch for allergic reactions to certain metals, like nickel. Even silver is problematic for some children, so always chose hypoallergenic earrings, and when possible, gold coated studs.

In the end, allowing a daughter to have her ears pierced is a personal and individual decision. It depends upon your personal beliefs, your observations of your child, and the degree to which you feel pierced ears are important. Do recognize that piercings will always carry some health risk for infection and blood-borne diseases, even though it is a common practice. It's up to you to decide if this risk is justifiable.

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Discuss this Article

anon318954
Post 18

I had mine done when I was a baby, took them out at about 11, re-pierced them at 14, then just re-pierced them again today (I'm fifteen) but like a previous comment said, "when will it stop?" That's actually very true, because from my ears, I got my nose, then belly button, then monroe. So I guess it depends.

anon189872
Post 17

I had mine pierced at six months old but wouldn't let my mom clean them, so she took them out. I got them again at seven.

anon133544
Post 16

My partner and I decided to have all three of our daughters' ears pierced at three months old. We have had no problems with them at all and they are all glad that they grew up wearing earrings.

Friends of ours who waited until their girls were older or wanted to have them done had problems then having them done or they got infections so had to be taken out. Obviously it is up to the parents but having them done early worked for us. I suggest have them done as babies or wait until they are teenagers. --Sue

anon133252
Post 15

i can't remember when i had mine done, i was probably 1 or 2, but i don't regret it. i say do it young so your child doesn't have to do it when they are older, and when they are older if they don't like it they can just take them out, but i can't see why you wouldn't like it.

anon131889
Post 14

I got my ears pierced when i was a baby and last year as a late 18 b-day present i got my ears double pierced. There is no right or wrong thing to do. But I think it's best to get your little girls ears pierced when they are a baby because if you did it when they're older they might freak out and ruin the ear piercing. But also don't force your kids to get their ears pierced. My parents only got my ears pierced when I was a baby because they were tired of people calling my sister (my sister is 3 and a half years older then me) a boy when she was a baby and she was wearing girly clothes so they pierced mine when i was a couple of months old (my sister was almost a year when she got hers pierced). But it's up to the parents of the kid.

anon126089
Post 13

mine were done at six years and now I'm 10. i think it's stupid -- it's just ears. who cares? not like its your belly or tongue.

anon116416
Post 12

I got mine pierced for my 11th birthday. It really didn't hurt at all! Plus they look really cute!

anon84941
Post 10

I have four daughters and and one son I know I'm gonna get some flak for this and maybe it's because I'm a guy, but I am always having this argument with them. Here it is short and simple. We are our children's caretakers until they're 18. That means we are supposed to make decisions for them that pertain to their health and well being, not decisions that they should make when they are adults and are in control of their own bodies.

You might say it's only earrings and they will look pretty. I say when will it stop, it's only a tattoo, it's only breast implants, it's only a face lift, it's only botox. Let children think they're pretty for what God gave them, not for what society tells them they should look like.

anon78239
Post 9

I think when they are a baby so they will not have to worry about it when they get older but that is is really up to you!

anon73401
Post 8

I got mine pierced on my ninth birthday. I don't remember begging for it -- I think it was more my mum's idea and I liked it so I got it done.

About a year ago for my fourteenth birthday I wanted to convince my mum to let me get the second holes done. I had to beg a bit and list five people who had it done (her, a friend's sister, an old friend, my ex science teacher and my other friend) and she let me do it. I don't understand why parents wouldn't let their daughters get them pierced till they're like thirteen.

I can see why my mum won't let me get my belly pierced. I'm fifteen in April and I think I'm going to do it in winter, I think.

anon70316
Post 7

it is probably most popular to get them done at 10 years old.

anon70062
Post 6

I had both my daughters' ears pierced at three months old. We have had no problems with them and they now love wearing earrings. It is a lot less trouble to have them done when they are very young so they grow up used to wearing earrings. I totally recommend it and your girls will thank you for it.

Pam

anon57263
Post 5

It's almost racist to suggest that small children "shouldn't" have earrings. Like the person says, it's a Hispanic culture for girls to have them put in after birth. To suggest otherwise is like saying, "You are not allowed to be Hispanic".

anon53015
Post 4

Children's ears should be pierced at an early age. I believe before the age of three because then they can adjust to wearing earrings before they begin school.

anon47298
Post 3

My cousin and I (I'm 25 and got my second set, she's 12 and got her first) went swimming 2 days after getting our ears pierced this summer and we went at least twice a week during the whole healing process. No problems for either of us!

jber5
Post 2

How long after new ear piercing before my 7 year old can go swimming in a public pool?

mexicana
Post 1

It's very cultural also, so people in certain cultures may be surprised at other cultures - for example, it is very common for Mexican baby girls to have their ears pierced right away, while other people may see that as irresponsible.

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