Many a little girl dreams of the day when she can finally pop in a pair of fancy earrings and show them off to her friends and family. However, for many parents, taking your child to have her ears pierced can be a challenging situation for a variety of reasons. From deciding how old your child should be to figuring out where to have the piercing performed, consider several factors before you go.
How old should my daughter be when she gets her ears pierced?
Every parent has a different opinion on the best age for piercing. Some believe that it is acceptable to get ears pierced as young as six months old, while others elect to wait until their child is in their early to mid-teenage years. If you plan to have your child's ears pierced when she is still a baby, you probably think you will be sparing her some pain in the future because she won't remember the procedure when she's grown up.
While there is no medical reason to wait until your child is more than a few months old to have the piercing performed, it's important to make sure the person doing the piercing has the proper experience and equipment to pierce your baby's delicate ears. To ensure the piercing is done correctly and all sanitation needs are met, consider asking your pediatrician to perform the piercing for you. Chances are you'll feel much better about the simple procedure knowing that your baby is in the hands of someone you can trust.
Where do I go to have my child's ears pierced?
While your pediatrician is an excellent option, the procedure can also be performed at a number of other locations, the most common of which is a boutique that sells jewelry, such as the popular chain store Claire's. Stores like this typically require that children under the age of 18 have a parent or guardian present, and waivers are often signed before the piercing process can begin. Whether you take your child to her pediatrician or a store in your local mall, it's imperative to make sure that the company or the person performing the procedure is a member of the Association of Professional Piercers (APP), an organization that certifies that the piercer meets all qualifications and follows a set of strict guidelines for ear piercing.
How much does it cost?
The cost to get your child's ears pierced can vary greatly depending on her age, the style and quality of the earrings purchased for the piercing, as well as the place where you decide to have the procedure performed. Some pediatricians will perform the procedure during a routine visit at no additional charge, or they may request that an appointment be made solely for having your child's ears pierced, which may cost you the price of an office visit and possibly more. Taking your child to have her ears pierced at a local boutique will generally run between $30 and $50, although some professional piercers charge upwards of $75 to perform the procedure.
What are the risks?
As with any type of medical procedure, getting your child's ears pierced involves a certain amount of risk. From minor irritation and an allergic reaction to a severe infection or the transmission of a serious disease like hepatitis, several risk factors need to be taken into consideration before you take your child to have her ears pierced. However, if you do your homework before having the procedure performed and do your best to ensure that all safety and sanitation precautions are met, you can rest assured that the ear piercing process will go as planned and will be a positive experience for both you and your child.