Have the wishes started yet in your household? Once children get to a certain age, it’s almost impossible to avoid the issue of ear piercing. And undoubtedly there’s something special about wearing different earrings to make you look nice. This is the start of a jewellery journey that lasts a lifetime. But when it comes to piercing a child’s ears, what is the best age? Should your child be allowed to decide when they are ready? Are there arguments for waiting? And are there any risks?
Let’s start with the assumption that your child wants to have their ears pierced and you have started to wonder if it’s a good idea. The best thing you can do is to read about the process, and what may be useful factors to consider before and after. Perhaps you want to know what other people are doing. However, ultimately only you as a parent know what is best for your child.
What is the best age for having ones ears pierced? There is obviously no simple answer to this. In general no particular age is better or worse than any other. And there are just as many differing opinions as there are parents. There are also big cultural differences. In some countries it’s common for children to have their ears pierced at just a few months old, while in other countries it’s unusual to have it done at all. We know from experience that many children tend to find it appealing to have pierced ears when they start school, which in Sweden in any case, is at the age of seven. Perhaps because they see other children with pierced ears, with some parents viewing it as an indicator that pre-school days are over and the child is now becoming “grown up”. Other people feel that the child should be old enough to take responsibility for keeping the holes clean themselves. Some people consider 10 or possibly 12 to be a good age. From a legal standpoint, anyone under the age of 18 years must have consent from a parent or guardian to get their ears pierced. In other words, it’s up to a parent to decide if or when they want their child to get their ears pierced.
Is it dangerous? Ear piercing is not dangerous, but any hole made in the skin carries a risk of infection. However, complications are not very common. As long as the hole is kept clean, dry and aired it should heal quickly. It’s a good idea to remind your child not to fiddle with their earrings with dirty fingers. The issue of allergies almost always comes up in connection with piercings. Allergies can develop The start of your jewellery journey - what is good to think about? at any time in your life, and a piercing makes you more vulnerable to unsuitable materials, such as nickel, palladium, cobalt, etc., and even gold and silver. We are therefore careful to use only the very safest of materials. Blomdahl’s products have been developed in consultation with dermatologists and our jewellery is suitable for everyone, including individuals with sensitive skin and contact allergies.
How is the piercing done? Even though children often long for the big day, they can often have second thoughts after the first hole has been pierced. With this in mind Blomdahl has developed a unique method in which both ears are pierced at the same time. The process is faster, feels safer and is more comfortable for the child (and accompanying parents…). Blomdahl’s ear piercing consultants are certified and use sterile disposable products. The spot to be pierced is marked and the skin is thoroughly cleaned. The actual piercing is carried out using a sterile earring in a sterile disposable holder. The parts that touch the skin come from the sterile pack, and they are not touched by anyone else and do not come into contact with anything.
Does it hurt? Yes. No. Maybe a little. Just like adults, all children have differing pain thresholds. Some say it burns a little. Others think it’s akin to a mosquito bite. The site of the piercing may feel hot and a bit sore immediately afterwards, but this will soon pass.
Things to think about afterwards Most children regard the day they get their ears pierced as a big occasion. Do something special to celebrate! It takes roughly six weeks for a piercing in the earlobe to heal. During this time it’s essential to keep the skin around the hole clean, dry and airy to avoid it becoming infected. It can be a good idea to talk to your child about the importance of aftercare – for example, that they and their friends must not touch the newly made holes and to be careful when putting tops on and taking them off, and so on. When helping your child with aftercare, always wash your hands before touching the earlobes and clean both front and back with liquid soap and running water, e.g. in the shower. One useful option is Blomdahl’s Piercing Aftercare cleansing swabs. A highly practical option when you don’t have access to clean running water.
How soon can you switch to other earrings? After six weeks it should be fine, but still take care when changing earrings. Since the skin that has formed inside the holes is thin and delicate, it can easily be damaged or become infected. It’s a good idea to continue with the routine of washing your hands, and also cleaning the earrings, when changing them, as well as continuing to keep the skin around the holes clean, dry and airy throughout the first year.
What happens if you take the earrings out too soon? If the earrings are taken out before the new skin has properly formed, the holes will heal up again. If this happens within the first few weeks, it’s almost as if the hole was never made. So ideally make sure earrings are worn continuously for the first year because the holes can shrink and/or grow again.
What kind of earrings should you switch to? Once the healing process is complete and it’s time to switch earrings, it’s still important to wear earrings made from materials that are skin friendly, such as medical grade titanium or pure medical plastic. This will protect the new, slightly more sensitive skin that has now formed. It’s also important to think about choosing appropriate earrings for the occasion. If your child is active and there is a risk of the earrings catching on something, it’s a good idea to opt for post earrings. However, remember not to push the back on too tight, as this may cause problems with healing. If the healing is taking a little longer, earrings on a hook of pure, medical grade titanium or medical plastic can be a useful solution. With earrings like that it’s easier to keep the holes clean, dry and aired. On blomdahl.com.au you’ll find lots of stylish jewellery items, featuring classic and timeless designs, perfect for both everyday wear and special occasions.