Infant ear piercing is a common practice throughout the world. However, is it wrong to pierce a baby’s ears? I say yes, and many moms that have endured the subsequent trauma would tend to agree. A friend of mine who actually did pierce her daughter’s ears had a frightening and very unpleasant experience with it. Why is infant ear piercing such a questionable thing to do, at the very least? Here are my thoughts on the issue.
The child has no choice
Some parents would argue that it is their prerogative as the parent to choose what they do to their child, but I completely disagree with this assessment. Your child is an individual just as you are, and if you don’t want someone deciding for you, your child shouldn’t either.
It’s one thing when it’s a matter of safety, for example, you choose not to let your child touch a flame she is reaching for, but when it’s a matter of parents thinking it makes their baby look prettier or distinguishes their gender, I feel it is out of line for parents to assume it is something the child wants. Even when they get older, many parents convince them to get their ears pierced through brainwashing, as do peers sometimes, but parents can be just as bad. Let your child grow up on their own and if they choose to do it later, then it can be considered.
It is a choking hazard
Earrings consist of very small and extremely sharp parts. Babies, who almost always put everything in their mouths, could seriously hurt themselves, even put their lives at risk, if they get ahold of an earring. If they swallow it, it could simply pass through their system, but it is also possible that it could go down dangerously and cut open the stomach or other parts of the digestive system. I would advise against even taking the risk. We all think it’ll never happen to us, we’ll just keep it out of reach, watch them at all times, etc., but the reality is even if it is rare, it can happen to you, to minimize the risk.
Infliction of unnecessary pain
When a child gets their ears pierced, there is a short time in which they experience pain. If it is the child’s choice to pierce, they should be made aware of the pain factor and then choose whether to accept it. Babies do not have this choice and do not understand when Mommy takes them to a place where they are exposed to pain. In addition, babies grab everything, so once the earrings are in place, they may grab them just out of curiosity and exploration, and end up hurting themselves, possibly even pulling the earrings right out. Watch this video:
Again one might argue they’d just watch closely, but you can’t be there every waking minute. Many people feel it is not right to deliberately inflict any type of pain on your child, particularly when they don’t understand why.
I won’t get into the vaccination debate here, but I will say that when a child is exposed to pain from those, it is at least for a health reason. Earrings serve no purpose except aesthetics and thus are not justified.
Increased risk of infection.
When ears are pierced, it is important to thoroughly clean them and leave them in so that the holes don’t close up. You can’t teach a baby to clean their ears themselves, the parent must do it in order to keep it clean. Also, if the baby does pull at it and injure themselves, that would also increase the infection risk. An older child at least understands that risk and knows better than to tamper with it. That doesn’t necessarily mean they will do what they should do, but they know better.
Speaking of knowing better, an older child is capable of being responsible for their earrings. They choose to get them, choose to endure the pain, clean them frequently and properly as required, and continue to take care of them long after it has been done. This is not a reasonable expectation of a baby.
In general, infant ear piercing is a bad idea and parents should stay far away from the whole concept. They should teach their children to pursue their own interests and if that one day leads to pierced ears, then so be it, but in the meantime, let the child be a child, not the child that you want them to be.
Do you have pierced ears? At what age did you pierce them? What about your children? Did you pierce your ears because you wanted to or someone else? What about your child? Share your thoughts below.