Would you have your baby’s ears pierced? Fashion must-have or child abuse? …

So, hitting the news again, is the sensitive subject of piercing babies ears. A topic which always divides us parents.

Is this a fashion ‘must have’ or is it simply ‘child abuse’? 

I know that in some cultures around the world, that ear piercing is the norm and done from a very early age.

Catholics tend to have a baby girl’s ears pierced for her first communion.
But when ear piercing is not done as part of a religious or cultural ceremony, parent’s have defended the choice with comments such as; ‘We had it done to stop people thinking my baby girl was a boy’ or ‘to make them look cute’. Another common reason is ‘having it done whilst they are too young to remember the pain’.

After speaking to Claire’s Accessories, they explained to me, that children as young as 4 months old can have their ears pierced within their stores.

Currently in the U.K., there is no legal age restriction for ear piercing, so long as if the child is under 16, they have parent/guardian consent.
A petition on the website 38 Degrees ‘Ban ear piercing for babies/toddlers’, implores for a minimum age to be set.

The campaign, created by Susan Ingram, believes that ‘It is a form of child cruelty’ and ‘Severe pain and fear is inflicted upon infants unnecessarily‘ by opting to have the child’s ears pierced.

Currently (at the time of writing this) the campaign has 84,603 signatures.

Many celebrities, including supermodel Gisele, Kim Kardashian and Angelina Jolie, have been publicly blasted for sharing pictures on social media of their babies/children after having their ears pierced.

Also, forever getting slammed for one reason or another, is Katie Price.

She took to ITV’s ‘Loose Women’ and said ‘Boys are circumcised without consent, what’s the difference?’ …. make of that what you will.

But do parents consider the health risks that come with ear piercing?

Some of these include:

  • Infections (young babies have a higher risk of infections due to the extremely small size of their lobes. Also, their immune system is still developing.
  • Allergic reactions
  • Keloids – these are raised, reddened, fibrous growths that usually occur after surgical procedures or trauma and can cause significant cosmetic deformity. 

So do we feel that ear piercing is more for the parents than it is the child? Are we taking the choice away from the child by deciding for them at such a young age? Do we think it is all blown out of proportion, and parents should decide when the child has their ears pierced? Is it just simply a fashion must have and babies forget the pain anyway?

Personally, I had my eldest daughters ears pierced when she was five years old, not because I wanted to, but because she asked me if she could have them done.

I took her into the shop, she looked at earrings and also watched as another little girl had hers done.

She was still eager to have them done, and so I let her go through with it. I was honest with her and told her it would hurt, but like any stubborn five year old girl, she insisted ‘Mummy all my friends have them! I want Elsa earrings!’

Well, she sat in the chair, two young girls stood either side of her and counted ‘3-2-1….!’ One of the girls pierced, as the other stalled a few seconds, then pierced her second ear.

Lilly was distraught and the look on her face, the screaming, the pain she suffered afterwards, not to mention the grief from school! … well, I definitely won’t be having my youngest daughters done that’s for sure!

It is personal preference, but I felt so guilty seeing my daughter suffer and not being able to help her. All because she wanted to ‘look cute’ with Elsa earrings, like her friends.

We ended up removing them for P.E at school, and she was petrified of having them put back in, so we have let the holes heal up.

If she chooses to have them pierced again when she is older, then that will be her choice.

We will never all agree on this subject unfortunately, but would love to hear people’s views and reasons regarding this? 

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