The time has come for your child to get their ears pierced. Are you ready?
This meaningful moment is a time to remember, and you want to make sure that the experience is a positive one to look back on. To do this, you’ll need to understand the process of getting a piercing and the best methods of ear piercing aftercare.
Here’s a guide on the best ways to take care of your child’s ear piercing.
The Piercing Process
What happens before and during the piercing process plays a significant role in the outcome and ear piercing aftercare. The procedure is quick without much fuss if you go to the right professionals to get the job done.
The piercing professional’s location should be clean and sterile, with constant sanitization of all tools used. Simple questions like what equipment they use and how often they are switched out and used in-between ear piercings can help determine this.
If you’re unsure of their sterilization tactics, it’s better to leave immediately and find a professional who meets the standards of cleanliness.
Once you find a person that you feel confidently knows the expected standards of sterilization, they’ll take note or mark where the piercing will go and use a needle or piercing gun to create the hole and secure the earring.
It’s important to ensure that the earrings you select for your child’s ears are from a reputable jeweler that sells nickel free kids jewelry.
Ear piercing for children typically involves little to no reactions, but it’s always better to be prepared for anything and everything that could possibly occur. The biggest risk from an ear piercing is an infection, something that’s explained in greater detail later on.
Besides that, other risks include:
Some people are more prone to developing keloids in the ears than others. If your family has a history of keloids, it doesn’t mean your child cannot get their ears pierced, but you are a little bit more limited on when you can get them done.
To prevent keloids, the best window for a child’s ear piercing is between a child over 4 months through age 10. Children 11 and up have a higher chance of developing keloids.
Earlobe injuries are a risk to having earrings. Still, they’re always preventable if you follow specific ear care guidelines, such as refraining from using dangly earrings that could get caught in clothing and ripped out.
Caring for the Earrings
You must manage the care of your child’s new piercing. Without proper care every day, they become infected quite easily.
Clean the area around the piercing twice a day. Warm water with soap or rubbing alcohol is best for this. Then rotate the earring to prevent any adhering to the skin while it heals.
Besides the twice cleaning, avoid touching the piercing or ears at all costs. If you must touch them, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
If they’re old enough, you should start teaching your child to take care of their ear piercings. This will give them a sense of autonomy and ownership while you monitor from a distance.
Lastly, you must leave the piercings in the ears. The time the ear-piercing takes to heal and slow the rate of closing is 6-8 weeks, and even then, you’ll want to have a pair of earrings to replace the old ones. The one exception to this rule is if there are signs of infection.
Signs Of Infection
Once an infection occurs, it can be tricky to fully eradicate it, so knowing the signs before it fully develops can help prevent infection save you from multiple trips to the pediatrician. If infected, the piercing may exhibit:
- warm to the touch at the piercing site
- a temperature of pf 100.4 or higher
Your child could present all or one of these symptoms, so be on the lookout.
What if Infection Occurs?
If your child has an infection, you’ll need to step in and take care of it right away. You should clean the earlobe with the earring still in the hole with a saltwater solution and then cover it with a cream antibiotic from over the counter at a local pharmacy.
Continue to do this for two days. If the infection doesn’t go away or gets worse, contact your pediatrician right away.
They may recommend removing the earrings, and while this is disappointing, your child’s health is the number one priority.
How To Make the Process Easier
As the role of the parent, there are things you can proactively do to make sure that your child has the best experience. Here are some helpful tips to make it enjoyable.
- Pick two safe choices of children’s earrings and let them choose which one they love
- Tell them in advance that they may feel some discomfort, so they are prepared
- Keep them up to date with vaccines like the tetanus
- Ask for simultaneous piercing if possible
Don’t forget that this is your child’s body, and they should have the right to change their mind. If you get there and they seem nervous, pull them aside and ask about what they’re feeling.
If they show any signs that may lead to a traumatic experience, it might be best to take them home and reschedule for a later time.
Become an Expert in Ear Piercing Aftercare
Your child’s ear piercing is a wonderful milestone that everyone should enjoy. With a proper ear piercing aftercare regimen, your child’s ear will have a fast healing process and will soon be rocking some of their favorite pair of earrings in no time.
For more on children’s milestones, visit my other family blogs!