They are all over magazines, advertisements and blogs. Who hasn’t seen precious baby girls all decked out with sparkling earrings?
Despite the prevalence, there isn’t much else that garners such strong feelings on both sides as whether or not babies should get their ears pierced. From cultural norms to how badly it hurts, parents can’t seem to agree.
But all parents want the best for their babies, and the main question that’s raised again and again is: Is it safe?
While the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents wait until a child is old enough to take care of newly pierced ears, they have also weighed in by saying that when done properly, “there is little risk, no matter what the age of the child.”
With proper care, ear-piercing for babies is safe.
That means, “to pierce or not to pierce” is one question that parents should feel empowered to answer based on the decision they feel is best.
Most experts agree, however, that ear-piercing for babies should not happen until after the first two rounds of immunizations, to help protect against tetanus and other blood-borne illnesses. That usually means waiting until after the 4-month checkup.
For those parents who decide to pierce their baby’s ears, there are a few things that they must do.
- Do your research – Before making a decision, talk with your pediatrician about the procedure and what to expect.
- Go to a reputable place – Physicians and trained nurses are always the first choice, but reputable and trained professionals who work in clean environments and exercise proper hygiene are also an option.
- Choose the most hypoallergenic earrings – Round earrings made of surgical stainless steel, gold, titanium or platinum are best bets.
- Be diligent about care — After piercing, make certain to follow all of the proper cleaning instructions for baby’s newly pierced ears.
- Call your pediatrician – If there are signs of infection, contact your doctor.
It is also important to note that parents of babies with certain chronic illnesses should be especially cautious about ear-piercing since any infection could cause more serious illness or harm.
So, whether your little one will have tiny, sparkly earrings as an infant or if you are waiting until kindergarten or beyond, our pediatricians can help you make an informed and safe decision for your child.