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Ear-Piercing Parties ... for 6-Year-Olds

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This new trend is disturbing to one mom.

young girl smiling

Meanest Mom Jana Matthews: A few days ago, my six-year-old daughter received an invitation in the mail to a friend's birthday party. The party is being held at a children's hair salon in town. After being educated in the art of prepubescent hairstyling, each of the party guests will be treated to a beauty treatment of her choice: a manicure, a pedicure, a classy "up-do," or a free ear piercing. I was a little disappointed that there wasn't a box labeled "tattoo," because I would have checked it.

Question # 1: Who throws an ear-piercing party for six-year-olds?!!

"Mani, pedi, or hairdo?" I asked my daughter, pencil in hand.

"I want my ears pierced!" she cried. The panic rose in her throat as she realized that my omission of her desired choice was not by accident.

I reminded my daughter of our agreement: she could get her ears pierced when she was eight. This proved to be small consolation to a six-year-old with a penchant for glittery hoops.

A few days later, I was telling this story to my friend when she broke me off mid-sentence. "You're not seriously thinking about letting your daughter get her ears pierced anytime soon, are you?" she asked.

That's when I heard about nasty infections, imbedded studs, earrings that rip through ear lobes, and a host of other problems endemic to pint-sized pierced ears. To be honest, I had never thought about the "proper age" to get one's ears pierced, but the more friends I spoke with, the more I realized that a lot of people have very strong opinions about when it's okay -- and when it's not -- to pierce your daughter's ears.

So what's your take?

Question # 2: When did you let or when do you plan to let your daughter pierce her ears and why?

A six-year-old with a fondness for hoops (and her mother) want to know!

next: Teens Get Cash to Not Get Pregnant
92 comments so far | Post a comment now
Celina August 18, 2009, 7:03 PM

Earrings are not that big a deal. unlike tattoos it is very painless to rid yourself of them if you don’t like them. Just let your ears close up. Mine were pierced when I was three months and I don’t remember any pain. When I was a little girl I loved my earrings. I would wear hoops, studs and any thing else I had. Way more fun than clip- or stick-ons.I would wear them to church and school. but my favorite was to wear them when I played dress-up, I felt so pretty in them. I understand child’s choice but leave the parents alone. as long as piercings are done by a liscenced professional and properly cared for (which they should be regardless of age or location) there is not a problem. I don’t have time for earrings now, but I take pride knowing that if I ever come across an irresistable pair I can use them immediately. I only wear my earrings twice a year. Not for parties but just to keep them for closing. three to six hours later I put them away to collect dust for a few months. I am very success ful at what I do. Earrings have in no way hindered me or my reputation. As for becoming a stripper, I dress very modestly and conservatively, and would never dream of such a thing.

Star Dogg August 23, 2009, 1:16 PM

As a retired body piercer I have to put my two cents in. I can’t tell you how many messed up ear piercings I fixed on young girls in my career.

Firstly… ear piercing in a hair salon = a really great way to get a staph infection.

Ear piercing guns will hopefully soon be made illegal in many states. They can’t be autoclaved, create a backspray of blood on the gun, split the tissue, can’t be aimed well resulting in uneven piercings, I can just go on and on. Oh and yes, some children’s lobes WILL swallow the jewelry used because of swelling, infection, and the fact that the jewelry is just not made long enough for many people. They’re a great way to get hepatitis as well.

Believe it or not the best way to get great, safe ear piercings is in an experienced tattoo shop. They will use a medical grade autoclaved needle which actually hurts less, is more accurate, and will cause less trauma to the child.

Would you rather have a 16 year old in the mall permanently altering your child’s appearance, or someone who has trained in piercing for several years and has been required to take board of health safety classes? Think about it…

Anonymous September 3, 2009, 6:30 PM

I had mine done when i was 6 months old, & never had them close up or get infected. I’m 19, graduated high school with a 4.o & am working in labor & delivery at a hospital not dancing on a stipper pole. Kathleen is just ignorant


Anonymous September 8, 2009, 6:27 PM

Kathleen, I know a stripper who has never had her ears pierced. She was a straight A student and went to college at 16, a genius, really. There goes your theory!

Mom of 2 Girls September 8, 2009, 7:03 PM

I have told my oldest daughter since she was 4 that she had to be able to take care of her own body all on her own. This included being potty trained, taking her own showers, brushing her hair, etc.

She’s now nearly 6 and is not interested in the upkeep associated with getting her ears pierced, and that’s fine with me. Since we also have a nearly 2 year old, I don’t need anything else to have to take care of. :)

Michelle September 8, 2009, 7:40 PM

Really? is it that big of a deal? I pierced my daughters ears when she was months old… she’s two now and loves her little stud earings… I.m not ashamed and don;t care about the people that look down on me for having her ears pierced. You know what they say… people that mind don’t matter and people that matter don;t mind. Besidesm there will be other oppotunities for her to make her own decision… It’s her ears for goodness sake! it’s not like it’s her lip or nose…. which by the way in other cultures is also totally acceptable. lol

And if done properly like by a PEDIATRICIAN!

And to people who judge others, i feel very sorry for you. Shame on people like Kathleen to make such ridiculous ASSumptions.

Diane September 8, 2009, 8:12 PM

I had my first daughters ears pierced when she was 8 months old and my youngest daughters done when she was 6 months old. My mother wouldn’t let me get mine done so when she was on vacation when I was 16 I snuck out and had it done. Neither of my girls regrets it - one is 20 the other is 13 and they both have more than just one on each side now.

amrmo13 September 9, 2009, 6:28 AM

I am 20 years old, and my parents rule was that I had to be old enough to ask for them. I asked when was about 4 and a half, my parents sat down with me to have a talk to make sure I understood, and then we went to the mall to get it done! I have never had an infection or had them close up on me. When I was thirteen, I got the second holes in each ear, which was the limit that my parents would pay for. I don’t think ear piercing is that big of deal - I didn’t wear “trashy” earrings and I love simple and elegant jewelry. The most important thing is to really make sure that your child understands what is going to happen. As long as its done by a professional, I don’t see the issue.

Samoys October 3, 2009, 1:05 PM

lot about you

Wendarwen October 10, 2009, 3:35 PM

Very cute :-)))),

Fiaviel October 11, 2009, 8:11 PM

Very interesting site. Hope it will always be alive!,

Cal October 25, 2009, 9:27 PM

My mom told me that I could have my ears pierced when I was old enough to keep them healthy and clean; 13. However for Christmas when I was 9 years old I opened a box of earrings and was informed that I could get my ears pierced. Such a pleasant surprise, though I was fine with the older age as well. You gotta base it off your kid. When you think she’s ready than you can decide. But really if the kid isn’t old or mature enough to take care of them than she shouldn’t have them pierced.

Doctorset November 20, 2009, 11:20 AM

This is the welcome page for the Association web site.

Dietroly November 21, 2009, 12:01 AM

This is the welcome page for the Association web site.

Natasha November 27, 2009, 8:58 PM

I am a young mother of 2 daughters and one son. my eldest daughter Jordy, has hers done and we have had no problems. we got hers done at 6 because she asked before then it didn’t even come to mind since i was busy with two other children anyways. and for Jordy i don’t see her carrying a career as a stripper anyday in this lifetime.

Rachel February 13, 2010, 1:38 PM

I’m going to go from a different perspective, because I’m not a mom, I’m a fourteen-year-old daughter (turning 15 in exactly 88 days, I’m counting down!) and I’m just going to say my experience. My mom got my ears pierced when I was 2 months old, and took care of them for me until I took them out just after being flower girl in my aunt’s wedding at age four. However, I had them re-pierced at age seven in a fine jewelry shop in Ocean city, Maryland, that sold diamond earrings on the boardwalk. I’ve always taken very good care of my ear piercings, seeing as how I’ve had two more going up my ear that I have taken out to let grow shut since, but I’ve noticed with some girls in my classes who’s parents that are not allowed earrings, they get outcast, teased for being old-fashioned or overly religious (even if it isn’t the case), and sometimes will go to the point of stealing or self-piercing to get what they want, even at young ages. And in a life and society where freshman’s in high school (yes, I’m talking about my classmates, again, in a “nice” neighborhood in Virginia) get their girl and guy parts pierced, or do their own piercings and jailhouse tattoos, what’s wrong with letting them get some individuality out so they don’t rebel MORE?

Colleen May 28, 2010, 7:15 PM

Are you serious?? You’re freaking about a earrings? It’s gross? Where oh where do you people live?
Kids can get infections from those nasty immunizations, AND the needles from that! Give your daughter a break and let her be a little girl for crying out loud!

Oh, and stripper pole? What would you say if you found out we pierced my six-yaer-old son’s ear today? Nevermind, I could care less what your judgemental self has to say!

Zoe May 28, 2010, 7:21 PM

Wow- You live up to your psudo name here “mean mom”. It’s completely up to you, but they can be taken out, and if she really wants them, what’s the harm? They aren’t permanent.

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Heather June 28, 2010, 8:38 AM

My daughter turned three in April and while I was originally going to wait until she was in at least second grade to get her ears pierced, I caught her trying to put on a pair of my earrings through her ear and figured that it would be safer to get her ears done by a professional rather than to allow her to pierce them herself. lol

One ear did fine, one got infected, but it’s cleared up and now is asking to get the healed ear repierced. I think that it’s a personal choice for each parent and while I find earrings in an infant kind of silly, it’s not my choice nor is it my child.

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