Getting one’s ears pierced is a rite of passage for many young girls. It may have been eons ago since you got your ears pierced, or you may have no idea where to start. Ear piercing for girls is a big deal, and they’ll be very excited when the time comes. Here are some helpful SmartMom tips for a smooth ear-piercing experience.
Wait Until Your Daughter is Ready
The entire process is easier if your daughter is excited about and hounding you to let her to get her ears pierced. Due to the responsibility required to care for her ears over the first six weeks after piercing, it’s ideal to wait until your daughter is at least 10 years old. However, if you feel she is mature enough to responsibly care for her ears after the piercing, it’s fine to let her pierce her ears at a younger age.
Carefully Consider the Location
Accessory or jewelry shops in the mall are familiar places that offer ear piercing services. Many of these stores have girls sit out in the open where other customers are shopping, walking by or even watching the girls take their turns with the piercing gun. If you think your daughter would feel uncomfortable in this type of setting, ask if the store has a private room available for ear piercing.
Many moms don’t realize that some pediatricians offer ear piercing at their offices. If your child’s pediatrician does not offer ear piercing, she may be able to recommend another doctor or refer you to a trustworthy store.
A lesser known option is a tattoo/piercing parlor. Many establishments are state-regulated, and reputable locations are impeccably clean, use disposable needles and sterilize all equipment in high-temperature devices called autoclaves. Unlike a mall store or your pediatrician’s office, a body piercer uses hypodermic needles versus a piercing gun, so the experience is different, and some feel this method is more sterile.
Before you decide on a location, ask around for recommendations and make some calls to ensure the sterilization process is sound, determine whether the environment is one your child is comfortable with, and find out if appointments are required.
Tips and Information for the Big Day
Explain the process and what will happen. Answer your daughter’s questions about the pain. Explain that the discomfort is similar to what is felt with a shot at the doctor’s office. A pediatrician may prescribe a numbing cream to apply before piercing. The homeopathic remedy Apis Mellica can be given directly before and after piercing and helps to ease the sting. Show her some deep breathing techniques that can help relax her during the piercing.
If your daughter plays a sport, talk to her coach. If earrings must be removed during play, you should wait to get her ears pierced until after the season is complete.
If the store you’re going to doesn’t take appointments, call before heading there to ensure someone is available to pierce your child’s ears.
If it will help calm your daughter, invite one of her friends along for moral support. Lollipops, a stuffed animal or other object can help to distract her.
Your daughter will choose a starter set of earrings. Help her find a pair that is hypoallergenic. The best types of metal to look for are surgical stainless steel, 14K gold, platinum and titanium.
You will sign a waiver or release form that explains the risks of ear piercing and releases the store of further responsibility after it is complete.
The person helping your daughter will wash her hands and put on sterile gloves. Check to make sure the tools are clean and have been sterilized.
The next step is to disinfect the earlobes with an antiseptic. The staff member may use a marker to indicate where the holes will be placed.
The final step, whether a piercing gun or needle is used, is the actual piercing and insertion of her new earrings.
Your daughter will be sent home with a bottle of antiseptic and instructions for caring for her ears. When you return home, give those items a prominent place on her bathroom counter to help remind her to use them.
Over the next few weeks, look for signs of infection, such as redness, soreness, pain or discharge from the ear. Contact your daughter’s pediatrician immediately for assistance if you notice any of these symptoms.
Have more questions about raising a girl? Here’s some information about girls and math.