What to think about before you let your kids pierce their ears

Good Things Utah

I want my children to have the same experience. I want to be able to look them in the eye and say, “This is your body, your choice, your pain. You get to own it all.” I want them to know that I don’t see their bodies as an extension of mine, that they are an entirely separate people with power over what they do to themselves. Bodily autonomy is the gift I want to give them, not the gift of some sparkly gems from the mall.

Because of her needle phobia, I have often wondered if she will ever choose to pierce her ears. I’m thinking that the promise of girly, shiny things will be too much of a temptation when she’s about 12 or 13, and and then she will trudge into the piercing shop as if going to the executioner. I’ll have to make sure they do both ears at once because I’ve had visions of her completely freaking out after the first one gets done like her cousin did. (That should be a fun day for all of us, and maybe this gets to be her dad’s job.)

It would have been so easy to pierce her ears as a baby or toddler. So easy. There wouldn’t have been much awareness of what was going on, it would have been over fast, and I would have been able to avoid the drama that will be my preteen daughter and her hysterical phobia of needles. Had we done it then, she wouldn’t even have a recollection of it today.

But I feel that I would have been taking something important away from her, something that every female child should realize is hers right from the start: her choice. Her body is not mine, and I don’t think I have the right to make permanent alterations to it. After all, I wouldn’t give her a tattoo, shave her head bald against her will, or pierce any other part of her body. And I won’t pierce her ears either. I also understand that some cultures are different from mine and that ear-piercing is important to those cultures.

Maybe the process of altering our bodies should be difficult and scary. Maybe she should have the gift of remembering how she faced her fear instead of a blank spot in her toddler mind.

I made the choice for myself, and I was ready to face all of it.

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOUR CHILD GETS THEIR EARS PIERCED

  1. You should pierce your child’s ears with a needle and not a “gun.”
  2. Ear piercings – like all body piercings – should only be performed by trained professionals, not mall staff.
  3. Professional body piercers will require consent, which is imperative and helps your child develop a sense of body autonomy.
  4. Trained professionals use quality jewelry, not “gold-plated” crap.
  5. They can also teach you the right way to care for your piercing (because you totally shouldn’t be touching it or turning it).
  1. You should pierce your child’s ears with a needle and not a “gun.”

“Piercing guns are made of plastic, and cannot be sterilized,” Infinite Body Piercing explains. “While the cartridges that fit in the gun are single-use, the gun itself is capable of sharing disease-causing pathogens between clients.” The method also causes unnecessary pain and trauma.
“Piercing gun studs are blunt, and make their way through the earlobe with brute force,” Infinite owner James Weber writes. “This not only results in a more painful piercing, but also in more trauma that can make healing more difficult.”

As such, parents (and clients) should seek out a shop which uses single-use, hollow point needles.

  1. Should only be performed by trained professionals

While many popular “piercing” establishments promote themselves (and their staff) as “trained and experienced specialists,” the details of said training are vague. Instead, seek out a piercer who is CPR and First Aid certified, trained in blood borne pathogens and is a member of the Association of Professional Piercers.

To read the entire article click here: https://www.scarymommy.com/tips-safe-ear-piercing/

Nicea DeGering
Nicea loves morning television in Utah! A self-proclaimed “night person,“ she has been getting up and hopping onto the Good Things Utah set for over a decade now.

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