I’m not sure if its because somebody else at school has them, or just another one of those ideas that she latches onto, like a sudden need she’s developed to visit California, but for the past two weeks my five year old has asked me just about every day if we could go to the mall and get her ears pierced.
There are differing opinions on what the appropriate age is for this, but like most things, I think it’s dependent on the particular child. It’s a decision that we felt comfortable letting her make for herself and more importantly, felt comfortable with her level of responsibility when it came to keeping them clean and untouched. She was reminded again that there would be some pain involved but her mind was set. We were off to pierce her ears.
What we didn’t do is go to the mall. At the mall, she would have been subjected to a piercing gun forcefully pushing the stud through her soft tissue and clinching the back too tightly to allow for any subsequent swelling. These guns are plastic, meaning that they can’t go into an autoclave, the method used for proper sterilization and the killing of “all viable microorganisms”. They would have been disinfected with alcohol, a process that “reduces the number of viable microorganisms.”
Instead, we stopped by Kohls, picked out some simple 18k gold stud earrings that would reduce the chances of an allergic reaction, and went to see my buddy at the local tattoo parlor.
The process there was different. There he donned plastic gloves, used two fresh needles, cleaned each ear with an alcohol swab and gave me the opportunity to look at the areas that he had marked.
She never even blinked, reminding us that she “wasn’t afraid of anything.” There also wasn’t the noise associated with a piercing gun that sometimes can cause people to flinch and cause further tissue damage or inaccuracy. The process was quick, clean, and according to her, painless.
I know millions of people go to the mall, get their ears pieced with a gun, and have no problems whatsoever. Her older sister got hers done that way. I got my first hole done on the boardwalk of Atlantic City and the second by a toothless guy in a booth at the Durham Fair.
The bottom line is that piercing your child’s ears is something worth taking the time to think about before doing. She’s ecstatic about her new jewelry, showing it off to everybody that she comes into contact with. I’m happy with where we got them done and hopeful that it will be quite a few more years before she decides to get back in the tattoo chair.
This post was previously published on ThirstyDaddy and is republished here with permission from the author.
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Photo credit: Jeremy Barnes