For many people, getting pierced ears is a rite of passage. Braving the needle and picking out a fresh pair of studs, makes for a fond memory. In some cases though, the person getting their ear pierced is an infant. If you are considering this procedure for your own infant, then knowing the health concerns around piercing baby's ears are crucial.
For many parents, getting a baby's ears pierced is a family tradition. One of the biggest arguments in favor of the practice is the idea that the child will not remember the pain of piercing later in life. Plus, earrings make cute accessories for most any baby outfit.
That said, any piercing comes with a certain degree of risk. Bleeding, allergic reactions, and infections are a few of the possible problems caused by ear piercing. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, because of the potential complications associated with ear piercing, it is advisable to wait until a child is old enough to care for the pierced area independently.
Overall, getting an infant's ears pierced under the advice and care of a physician is the best bet. After all, many infants are able to get piercings with no bad side effects. In the meantime, familiarize yourself with signs the piercing is causing a health concern.
It turns out people can be allergic to almost anything, and this goes for types of metal as well. According to the Mayo Clinic, nickel allergies are not uncommon, and they are often associated with jewelry. Signs include the appearance of a rash or redness on the skin. Opting for hypoallergenic earrings is one way to reduce this risk.
2. Bacterial Infections
Infections are an ever-present risk with piercings. According to Parents, signs of piercing infection include swelling, redness, and tenderness. In some cases, antibiotics are needed to treat the infection.
3. Keloid Formation
Sometimes, the body does not react well to being pierced. As explained by Everyday Health, irregular scars that grow above the the skin, also know as keloid scars, sometimes form in response to ear piercings.
Sure, adults and older children know not to pull at a new piercing. But if you've ever worn jewelry around a baby, then you know little ones can yank on decorative accessories with a surprising amount of force. With this in mind, infants are also at risk of tearing out their own piercings.
5. Staph Infections
Piercings may also be at risk for numerous skin infections. For instance, minor staphylococcal infections sometimes occur with ear piercings, as noted by the American Family Physician. This would also require antibiotics to cure.
Even tiny babies are still going to feel a sting when the needle hits. According to Baby Center, it's possible to request some topical anesthesia be applied to the lobe before a piercing. This is also a good reason for getting a medical professional to perform the procedure.
Chances are, any sight of blood around your baby is alarming. According to Everyday Family, persistent bleeding around the piercing site is likely a sign of infection and warrants a trip to the doctor.
8. Redness & Swelling
Again, the signs of infection can get pretty gross. According to Healthline, an infected ear piercing may include redness, swelling, and pain. Antibiotics may be needed to clear up the problem.
Well, this is a terrifying possibility. Even if the piercing itself goes smoothly, earrings may pose a choking hazard to young children, as noted by Babble. Choosing sturdy, kid-proof earrings is key.