Whether you want to get your infant's ears pierced as soon as they are born or your school-aged child is asking to have their ears pierced, it is a good idea to discuss piercing with a medical professional before you get it done. Below are some of the things you should consider when your child is ready to have their ears pierced.
Make Sure Your Child Is Up-To-Date With Their Vaccines
Most pediatricians will recommend that you wait until after your infant's 2-month vaccines are administered before piercing their ears. This is because the 2-month vaccines include DTaP, which protects your child against tetanus. Although you should always have your child's ears pierced with sterile equipment, having an open puncture wound puts them at slight risk of contracting tetanus.
If you decide to wait until your child is older, make sure that they have their 4-6 year old DTaP booster before you schedule their piercing. You should also keep in mind that some pediatricians recommend waiting for a short period of time after your child's vaccines are administered to make sure there are no complications and the vaccine has had time to begin working.
Talk With Your Pediatrician About Appropriate Age Windows for Piercing
Pediatricians recommend different age windows for piercing children's ears. Some will pierce as soon as a baby is born and others will insist that you wait for several months. Most pediatricians recommend that you either get your child's ears pierced when they are an infant and are unlikely to play with their earlobes or wait until they are old enough to care for the piercing on their own. Toddlers and preschoolers are more likely to touch their earrings with dirty hands, increasing the risk of infection.
You should talk to your pediatrician to see if your child is ready for ear piercing. Their pediatrician may ask them several questions about ear piercing, prepare them for the process, and teach them how to care for the piercing.
Have Your Pediatrician Prescribe a Topical Numbing Agent
Pediatricians can prescribe a topical numbing cream to apply to your child's ear prior to the piercing. If you are having your pediatrician complete the piercing, this will usually be applied while your child is in the waiting room. However, it can take around half an hour or longer to completely numb the area, so your pediatrician may instruct you to apply the numbing agent before your appointment.
If you will have a professional piercer complete the piercing, you should inform them that you have used a numbing agent on the ear.
Ask If Your Pediatrician Completes Piercings
Many pediatricians complete ear piercings as part of their practice. You will likely have to schedule an appointment specifically for ear piercing as opposed to having your child's ears pierced during a check-up or vaccination appointment. The benefit of having your pediatrician perform the piercing is that your child is likely already comfortable with them and they have been trained to keep a safe, sterile environment.
Decide Between a Piercing Gun and a Needle
There are many debates over whether a piercing gun or a needle is better for ear piercing. Many professional piercers will accept children, but not infants, as clients. You will have to decide if you want to take your child to a professional piercing studio at a young age or allow a piercing with a gun. Pediatricians use a piercing gun, but their piercing guns are not the same as the ones used in malls. They tend to use medical-grade guns that are only available to medical professionals and are specially designed to make the healing process more sanitary and less traumatic. For more information, contact a clinic such as Alpert Zales & Castro Pediatric Cardiology.