Ear Piercing Safety: What To Consider
Ear piercing is a very common practice around the world and across various cultures. However, there are many differences in when, where, what and how:
“When should I pierce my child’s ears?”
“Where should I pierce my child’s ears? At the mall? At the pediatrician’s office?”
“What kind of earrings should I consider? What type of material should it be made of?”
“How should the ears be pierced? With a gun? With a straight needle?”
The questions and decisions are endless — especially when you are a mother or father making this decision for a minor. Parents want their children to be healthy, happy, and safe.
As a practicing pediatrician, I come across these anxiety-ridden questions daily. I previously discussed the differences in piercings across cultures around the world. Today, I am here to discuss the safety decisions that parents should consider. I have spent multiple years in my practice as a pediatrician piercing the ears of young children and I feel confident that if you chose to pierce your child’s ear, there is a way to do safely to achieve the paramount results.
Rowan has revolutionized the art of ear piercing. Although infection risk is very minimal, all Rowan practitioners follow the American Academy of Pediatric guidelines, which recommends that piercings should wait until the child has received at least two doses of the DtaP vaccine (usually at four months of age) to prevent the risk of a tetanus infection. By completing the piercing in the home, it immediately relieves the additional stress of being in a pediatrician’s office or in a bustling mall surrounded by strangers. Rowan offers hypoallergenic earrings (for piercings and in subscription boxes), which helps minimize the chances of any allergic reaction to different types of metals. The earrings are also available in so many styles, which helps each child’s individuality shine. The method the ear is pierced is also a big consideration. As a Rowan practitioner, I use a touch-less, hand-pressurized device with a sterile cartridge that uses the earring to pierce the ears. This helps keep the procedure sterile and reduces the risk of infection.
Rowan has recently launched a line of screw back earrings, which per the American Academy of Pediatrics, is a crucial way to prevent aspiration of earring parts or even choking. Children have a fascinating way of placing small items -- such as beads, earrings, coins-- in their mouth, nose, or ear canal. It is recommended that once an ear is pierced the piercing earring remains in the lobe for 6-8 weeks. A screw back earring is less likely to come loose or be lost and this prevent the need for “repiercing.” When considering piercing a young child or even infant, screw-back earrings have proven to reduce the risk of these potentially life-threatening hazards.
Here at Rowan, we want to provide the best experiences possible through this rite of passage. By providing the best services and evidence-based knowledge, this experience is also safe and effective.
This blog post was written by Dr. Aniqa Anwar, MD, who practices pediatrics in Norwalk, Connecticut.
Becker, P.,&Turow, J. (1986). Earring aspiration and other jewelry hazards. Pediatrics 78(3) 494-496Parekh, J., & Kokotos, F. (2019). Ear piercing. Pediatrics in review 40(1), 49–50. doi: 10.1542/pir.2017-0218