All You Need to Know About Earrings for Babies

All You Need to Know About Earrings for Babies

Last update: 30 July, 2018

Do you know about the risks associated with putting earrings on babies? In this article we’ll share with you why some people consider piercing a baby’s ears to be harmful.

Putting earrings on girls from a very young age is a custom that is deeply rooted in many parts of the world. It’s done mostly for aesthetic reasons. However, many people are against this practice. Some people even consider it to be a form of child abuse.

Perhaps you’ve never stopped to think about this basic decision that many parents make the moment their daughter is born. It’s usually simply done as a tradition.

Recently however, many people are opposed to piercing ears from an early age. In the United Kingdom, there is even a campaign that has become popular in order to prohibit this custom. So, do earrings really pose a risk to babies?

Why shouldn’t you pierce your baby’s ears?

Those who oppose piercing ears state that the act in itself doesn’t bring any benefits for children. They see it as unnecessary suffering. When babies’ ears are pierced, they feel pain, fear and anguish.

They claim that the custom is simply a way of satisfying the whims of parents. In order to “improve” aesthetics, girls are subjected to completely meaningless and unnecessary practices.

Some people believe that if a baby doesn’t cry when she’s getting her ears pierced, it means that “it doesn’t hurt.” It’s important to clarify that this isn’t necessarily true.

Babies’ nervous systems are still immature. As a consequence, they may respond differently to stimuli. This doesn’t change the fact that neuronal processes still occur in their brains. They’re also affected by the stress that is generated by the throbbing pain of their ears getting pierced.

All You Need to Know About Earrings for Babies

Is there a risk of infection associated with earrings?

Although the materials that are used to pierce ears are hypoallergenic, sometimes people don’t react well to them. This could cause other negative consequences such as ear infections.

The following are symptoms of ear infections:

  • Swelling.
  • Redness.
  • Presence of pus.
  • Sensitivity to touch which is expressed through crying or moaning.

If your baby presents any one of these symptoms, don’t wait for them to disappear on their own. Consult your doctor. Infections can cause serious complications such as severe allergic reactions, perichondritis and keloid formations.

That’s why it’s so important to consult your pediatrician as soon as possible. Don’t try to remove the earring yourself. This could cause a lot of pain for the baby.

Sign of child abuse

The campaigns to fight for the prohibition of this tradition see it as a form of child abuse. They also frame it as a gender issue. They believe it’s a way of “identifying” women for purely cultural reasons.

Of course there are crueler forms of child abuse. Nevertheless, piercing a baby’s ears is still a decision made by parents that generates unnecessary pain.

All You Need to Know About Earrings for Babies

Why do people pierce their baby’s ears?

On the other side of the argument, there are many people who support and practice this tradition. Many of them have done it with their own daughters and they see nothing wrong with it.

Among their main arguments is that earrings are beautiful and help distinguish a baby’s gender when she’s still very small. They also believe it’s better to pierce ears at a younger age to avoid more pain in the future.

A point in favor of those who decide to pierce their daughter’s ears is that in general, most hospitals offer to do it as soon as the baby is born. Not only is this convenient, it’s also carried out in a sanitary environment, where all of the measures are taken to protect the child’s health.

As always, both sides have valid arguments. However, by discussing this topic we can stop looking at it as simply “tradition” but rather as something that has pros and cons. So, think twice before deciding to pierce your baby’s ears.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.