Kids ear piercing?

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Saturday February 28th, 2009 @ 6:12 AM

Filed under: Ear

My niece is about to turn 6 and for her birthday wants her ears pierced. My sisters had their ears pierced when they were about 5, as did I, but of course they were pierced with a gun at the mall. My sister is okay with my niece getting her ears pierced, but I am not so much okay with it knowing what I know now about piercing guns…

My question is, would a professional piercer be totally against piercing the ears of a child? Because shes not mine I of course dont get the final say as to whether or not she gets them done, so if its going to happen I’d like for it to be as safe as possible. But is it going to be possible to find a professional who would do it? Or is she pretty much doomed to the tradition of piercing guns at the mall?

While I don’t know of any professional piercers who will pierce BABIES, I know lots of professional piercers who have no problem piercing children, myself included. Most 6-year-old kids are plenty capable of understanding what’s going to happen, able to sit still and to look after the piercing themselves, with a little help from their parents. If you reply with a comment as to your geographical location, maybe someone can helpfully recommend someone close to you? You might call around and ask the better shops in your area, though, it’s more commonly done than a lot of people think!


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18 Responses to “Kids ear piercing?”

  1. Definently a professional will pierce her ears at 6. Perhaps not with a gun, but maybe you will find someone using disposable gunlike cartridges, basically instead of a gun you apply pressure with your hand and then dispose of everything afterwards.

    Kash on March 2nd, 2009 at 12:02 am
  2. Kash, please read this post about those cartridge guns, posted just a few days ago. They’re not an ideal choice for a variety of different reasons, not least of which is the fact that the jewellery they install is much poorer quality than proper labret studs or barbells.

    Lori St.Leone on March 2nd, 2009 at 7:39 am
  3. I don’t know of any ‘professional’ that would use a gun, anyway.

    But honestly? If they’re old enough to want their ears pierced, they’re probably old enough to have it. It’s a very ‘tame and traditional’ piercing, and exceptionally durable and easily healed.(At least, mine always were, despite the abuse!)

    Why not?

    Tranque on March 2nd, 2009 at 11:54 pm
  4. Thanks, I have read that post already. Yep states everything we already know, but still good knowledge.

    However as an alternative to using a gun, these disposable cartridges which still hold the risk if someone is nickel sensitive of causing a metal reaction, and yes if put on too tightly allows limited room for swelling and Yes allow for a buildup of secretion on the back clip of the jewellery which if not cleaned properly dailey can allow bacteria to builup, and they dont make a proper hole agreed.

    But the percentage of people who manage a healed earlobe piercing, with all these factors against them, after using a gun is at least in the 80 if not 90 percent. We all managed it, it hasnt becom illegal, people in other societies use much less procedure for earlobe piercing and they manage it.

    Not to mention the dodgy aftercare spray they made us put on it in the weeks after!

    What these cartridges eliminate is to me the Most Alarming risk 1) the possible transference of disease from client to client 2) surgical stainless steele coated (which will maintain for healing time and then recommend higher quality jewellery) instead of good old crunchy sterling silver 3) the ability to use foresight into the tightness of the backing and 4)6 year olds are not going to handle a needle coming at their head, neither is the mother, have you tried making one sit still for 5 minutes to pierce their ears?! Its impossible. Let alone clamping needling and jewellery exchanging?! Also dangerous, for everyone and traumatic.

    After 6 weeks healing those dreaded coated butterfly clips can be replaced with a better alternative. Im not pro guns, i hate them, i think disposable cartridges are the best alternative out there for perhaps particular scenerio’s and at least will give a 3rd medium option as opposed to needle/impossibility or Hep C from a gun at a local hairdresser.

    Kash on March 3rd, 2009 at 2:24 am
  5. Oh its not that I’m against her getting them pierced entirely, I’m just against her getting them pierced with a gun…I too see no reason for her not to get them done at 6, but I just dont want her to have to deal with the same stuff I’ve had to as a result of the piercing gun at the mall scenario (having it done at 5 and I still remember crying from the amount of pain, not to mention the infection I got afterward, and now as an adult I can see that they were pierced crooked)

    And I am in Portland, OR btw if anyone has suggestions

    shifty on March 3rd, 2009 at 5:54 am
  6. Kash, “disposable cartridges” ARE guns. The best alternative to guns is to be pierced with sterile, single-use needles and to have high-quality, mirror-finished, internally-threaded, implant-grade jewellery inserted - and as I said above, loads of piercers have no issues with piercing kid’s ears properly.

    Shifty, I’m asking in the pro forum on IAM.

    Lori St.Leone on March 3rd, 2009 at 7:37 am
  7. I was just in Portland, OR a couple days ago and I would highly recommend Adorn tattoo and piercing. Not only was the shop very clean, but the staff there is very knowledgeable and friendly. There are two shops the one I went to was on SE Belmont by I think it was 27th Ave they have another shop but I’m not sure exactly where it is.

    Robert on March 3rd, 2009 at 10:28 am
  8. Frankly, if we’re talking about piercing with, essentially, a gun, treating it as a regular piercing, and then switching to real jewellery in 6 weeks…

    Why not cut out the middle man, needle pierce, and they can switch to butterfly studs (if they so choose) after a couple of months?

    Coffee on March 3rd, 2009 at 7:56 pm
  9. Robot Piercing is a really good shop in Portland. I’m not sure off hand if they pierce children, but I think they do. If not they will be able to direct you to someone who does. As stated above Adorn is good as well. There’s a Locate A Piercer option at the Association of Professional Piercers website http://safepiercing.org/ By the way I’ve seen plenty of 6 year old kids sit stoic for ear piercings done with needles. It’s the 4 year old kids that you should second guess.

    Ghobian on March 4th, 2009 at 5:13 am
  10. I’m pretty sure Lori has great experience getting kids to “sit still for 5 minutes” for her to pierce their ears. You know, given how many years experience she has as a piercer and all.

    Dimruthien on March 4th, 2009 at 6:20 am
  11. 100% needle technique is the best/cleanest option, but there is an alternative that I believe is a happy/safeR medium for people who may have just gone where they were taken when they were kids, the hairdresser, studex double gun in and out should they have a enegetic 6 year old who otherwise would either end up with one ear lobe done OR a piercer trying to distract them from an approaching needle and them just not buying it ending back up at option 1. And anything that will stop someone contracting anything for a ear gun is worth mentioning. And Yeah im sure Lori does and has the best relaxation techniques in the trade. An apprenticeship under her talent would be worth gold, for that reason alone, maybe ive just gotton all the “Fun” kids, i have seen lots of piercers attempt earlobes on younger children, before during and after my apprenticeship and in my opion in this scenerio ONLY, sometimes the best technique is just not possible, so second to that disposable cartridges are much safer (still not guarenteed from a metal reaction, but guarenteed to be possible with and 6 year old and not spread disease, the main concern of guns)and guns now common knowledge avoided at all cost, there is a difference.

    Kash on March 9th, 2009 at 4:07 am
  12. I tried looking for a shop in Philadelphia that will pierce a 4 year old’s ears and I was told it is illegal here.

    Kristin on March 9th, 2009 at 3:25 pm
  13. I’m part hispanic. It’s pretty traditional for hispanic babie girls to get their ears pierced and my mom wanted me to have mine. I was only a couple of months old when I had my first ear piercings. My mom didn’t want it done at the mall, so she took me to the doctor and had it done there (he didn’t want to do it at first but she said “If you’ll circumcise a baby boy, you can pierce my baby girl’s ears”). If a doctor will pierce a baby I’m sure they’d pierce a 6 year old. I’d go to a prefessional first, but if you can’t find one that will do it, asking the child’s doctor is an option.

    Bridget on March 13th, 2009 at 1:32 am
  14. If a kid can’t sit still for the piercing to be done the PROPER way. They should wait. Pure. Simple. The piercer should not have to ‘distract’ them. There is no ‘alternative’ way, especially if it jeopardizes the child’s health.

    Jessi on March 19th, 2009 at 4:11 am
  15. I pierce at a shop in a mid-sized city and I usually pierce kids starting at around five or six. They have to be able to communicate with me and know what is going to happen. But another alternative I’ve heard from parents is that pediatricians have been offering ear piercings for kids. I talked to one parent and from her story the pediatricians have pretty much the same procedure as I do. I thought that was a really smart idea for them to offer it. I don’t have kids, so i’m not sure on the details, but if i did and wasn’t a peircer, i think that’s where i’d take my kids. Just offering another alternative. PS, last weekend it took me an hour for a lady to understand why i would pierce her 3 month olds ears! then five minutes later a lady called with a 5 WEEK OLD baby. Sometimes people really need to think things through. Or with the 5 week old, a parenting class. But back to my whole point: call or pediatrician and see if they offer it or could refer you to someone that does.

    JD on March 21st, 2009 at 7:13 pm
  16. “6 year olds are not going to handle a needle coming at their head, neither is the mother, have you tried making one sit still for 5 minutes to pierce their ears?! Its impossible. Let alone clamping needling and jewellery exchanging?! Also dangerous, for everyone and traumatic.”

    Wait, wait, let me bring my 5 year old over here to the monitor so I can tell her that. Clearly, when she sat like a rock to have both her earlobes properly pierced for her birthday, she wasn’t ACTUALLY doing it, since, you know, it’s impossible.

    It sure was one hell of an illusion, though.

    kristinc on May 25th, 2009 at 11:41 pm
  17. Not to completely attack all doctors, but I had my navel pierced by a general practitioner at age 16. My parents wouldn’t take me to a real piercer and sign for me, but consented to allow a local doctor to do it. My jewelry (that I brought with me) was “sanitized” in a cup of alcohol, I was injected with lidocaine? immediately before he pierced me (crooked and too shallow) with an 18 gauge IV needle through which he forced my 14 gauge bar through. There was so much blood, and even with the lidocaine, so much pain… MAKE SURE YOU GET TESTIMONIALS BEFORE LETTING A DOCTOR PRACTICE OUTSIDE OF HIS SCOPE! Just because they know the human body, doesn’t mean they know how to pierce it!

    Autumn on June 3rd, 2009 at 2:13 pm
  18. do you know anyone in or near philadelphia that will do a needle piercing for a 9 year old? The cut off is anywhere from 13 to 16 for most piercing places.

    maryann on June 30th, 2009 at 9:59 pm

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