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At what age would you let your child pierce their ears?

by Jennifer Muirhead (follow)
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ear piercing, piercing, earring
An ear being pierced. Photo by Robert Gilbertson.

Some parents have their children's ears pierced while they are still babies. Others let them choose for themselves when they are older. When do you think a child is old enough to have their ears pierced?

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I would never have a baby's ears pierced, mainly because it's up to them if they want to do that since their bodies are their own, but also because as a parent of a young child I had enough to do without adding having to clean my baby's freshly pierced ears all the time to make sure they didn't get infected.

If when my kids are older they ask to have their ears pierced they can. What age depends on the individual and their maturity, but I reckon ten sounds about right, and it would make a nice rite of passage. Hopefully by then they will be old enough to properly care for the piercing. I think you need to pick your battles a bit, since if they aren't allowed they might try to do it themselves or go somewhere dodgy instead of a proper piercing shop.
I'm always disgusted to see babies and toddlers who have had their ears pierced. What right does a parent have to inflict that on a young child before they have a choice in the matter? When they grow up, they might not even like jewellery. I think it is treating a child like a fashion accessory.

I never wanted my ears pierced, but had I done, my mum gave me the choice when I was 14, because that was the same age that she was allowed. I think I would follow that example. 14 sounds like the appropriate age. Before that, children should be allowed to be children, and not made to start acting older than they actually are (earrings are after all a form of make oneself look more attractive).
I don't think there is a right or wrong age. My mum had my ears pierced when I was just a few weeks old.
I really don't like a child having their little ears pierced.

My daughter in law just had my granddaughter have hers done at age 6 :(

Of course I didn't say a word, just said 'oh' and smiled....it is not my place to
rock the boat.

As far as Babies! that is just a huge No to me.I think it is a form of child abuse, if a baby or even at age 2-3-4-5-ect!

I am shocked it is even allowed with young children, to be honest.

Children are perfect as they are.......Natural.

Also it does hurt..........maybe when the girl is in her teens.
My mum would not allow me to have mine pierced until I was 16. I bit the bullet at 22. Got two holes in each ear in short succession.
I'll let my children have their ears pierced when I judge they are old enough to make an informed decision themselves, but I'm erring towards waiting until they are legally old enough to do it without my consent (16).

I would never let a baby or toddler in my care have their ears pierced, and I don't like to see it in other children. It's cruelty for vanity's sake, and I think it's wrong.

I don't have my own ears pierced, but it's not that I disagree with it for adults, I have just never felt the need!
I certainly would jump up and down if someone who is not the child's mother took them off to have this procedure as happened in my family. There are always cultural considerations, but in general, go with your gut feeling.
Most importantly, have confidence in the hygiene of the premises. I have seen 2 cases of adults with severe infections. It is not pleasant to sit in a hospital bed with pus being wicked away from your ears. Imagine what it would be like for a child.
By the way, I had mine done in my 'fifties with no ill effects, but only wear studs these days as I don't want elongated earlobes like Old Nana Martin's in my declining years.
I had my ears pierced at the age of six - it was a traditional rite of passage for young girls in Germany during the 1950's and before. The earrings were traditionally pink coral hearts, set in gold. I had my ears pierced without anaesthetic, using a hot needle, with a bar of soap on the other side of the earlobe. It was done in a tent at a Christmas Market. I guess the fact that it was cold prevented infection.
When I emigrated to Australia a year or so later, I was not allowed to wear earrings to school. I wasn't particularly bothered, and let the piercings reseal.
As I have worn my hair long for most of my life, my ears are not visible anyway.
My daughter had her ears pierced for her 8th birthday. I think you should wait until the child is actually asking to have their ears pierced rather than just going ahead and doing it when they are a baby and have no choice.
I wasn't allowed until I was 13 and I harassed my mum for years to get it done and I had both my girls done when they were 1
They are now teenagers 13 who has just had her 2nds done and 16 who has her 3rds now
I never had any problems with infections and they liked having pretties in their ears when they were little
Everybody is different and has their own opinions and choices and I don't think that people should accuse others of child abuse which is a bit extreme especially as I am a victim of child abuse and wish all it entailed was a couple of holes in my ears
Maybe I have missed something, but I didn't see anybody refer to ear piercing as child abuse. I certainly didn't.
Oh, I see, you mean Jonaj's comment.
Children's earlobes are a lot thinner than ours and don't seem to suffer as much with infection s of the piercings as we do.
by nat_c
I was a baby when my mother had my ears pierced and HATED IT!!! People often mistook me for a boy and would tease me, saying that boy's wearing earrings!!! I don't feel that babies should be put through that unneccassary pain just for the parent's wants, unless it's a cultural belief. When the child (boy or girl) can make their own decisions for themselves, should they be able to have any body parts pierced. Mandy E.
When my daughter was thirteen or fourteen she wanted to get her ears pierced and we allowed her as we felt it was a mature independent decision. A couple of years later she wanted her nose done, and we gave the OK for that as well.

I guess it really depends on the child / young person,and the family, if it's a cultural practice. Personally, I think kids are capable of making the decision by their early teens. After all, it's only a fashion statement...whether people pierce their ears or not, and at what age, isn't really such an important issue.
It should be done at the early age when the skin is soft.
Isn't ear skin always soft?
I agree with you. The lobes are thinner
by nat_c
No younger than 11.
Probably around 15 years old -I think this depends on the child however I can see no harm in and even perhaps a year or two earlier is OK>
by Finy
I'd let them choose when they are older.
I had my ears pierced on my 10th birthday. My mum almost fainted but I remained stoic. In the area I lived in (near a "migrant hostel" in North Wollongong, most of my school mates had their ears done when they were babies (much to my jealousy) and none of them remembered having it done and weren't bogged down with rage at their parent's abuse. Get over it ladies. Babies fall and injure themselves, they poke spoons, forks and sticks into their eyes and hurt themselves. They don't need to be wrapped in cotton wool. This is why we have an indulgent, manipulative Gen Y now.
I hardly think not piercing your child's ears counts as "wrapping them in cotton wool"!
Do you not believe in children having vaccinations or medical procedures either because it will hurt them? Far more hurts are visited on children than a 2 second piercing and a lot of them non physical. If parents want it done, then it should not be for others to try to instill guilt on them. As a registered nurse I see women loading guilt on other women all the time
by kaina
Do you not believe in children having vaccinations or medical procedures either because it will hurt them? Far more hurts are visited on children than a 2 second piercing and a lot of them non physical. If parents want it done, then it should not be for others to try to instill guilt on them. As a registered nurse I see women loading guilt on other women all the time
by kaina
Of course vaccinations hurt, but they're in a different league from ear piercing because they are for a medical reason, which piercing isn't. I don't think anything in my own response above constitutes "loading guilt on other women", I just stated my own reasons for not wanting to pierce my children's ears. Generally speaking though, you're right, there is a lot of that going around and it would be nice if we all acted like more of a sisterhood.
Re-reading your answer though I think accusing mums of wrapping their kids in cotton wool and saying that's what's wrong with kids these days absolutely is loading guilt on other women.
Never mind the last part, let's get back to the sisterhood thing.
My children girls and boys have been told if they want to get their ears pierced when they are 13 they can have them done.
My eldest will be 13 in July and has asked to get them done for her birthday and so that is what we will be doing.
Their body is theirs they should be able to make their own choices when it comes to piercings or tattoos
My daughter's decision once she turned 18.

She did not, thank goodness!
My daughter was 15 years old when she had hers done. She was very keen to get it done. I didn't mind too much at that age. She still has them, plus some other piercings that are quite subtle.
When they want to it's not like it's something wrong.
When they want to it's not like it's something wrong.
I think you should wait till your child actualy asks for their ears to be pierced. I know younger children don't remember the pain or infection from piercing but that doesn't make it ok.
I wouldn't let a child have their ears pierced until they were 12ish, depending on the child.
I think it is their right to decide and disagree with people piercing childrens ears when they are under the age of understanding.
I visited an accupuncturist for treatment. During the first consultation I talked about the fact that my eyes are usually red. He said it was because of where my ears were pierced. He said that he wished parents would get an accupuncturist to mark a dot on ears for piercing to avoid important points before getting a piercing done. Maybe visit a docor who is a trained in accupuncture and get them to pierce the ears.
I got my daughter s ears pierced for her first birthday. The two girls that did the piercing did it together. The noise frightened her and she cried. We then went home on the bus because I started to feel guilty and I thought she might be in pain but what she did next flawed me as she started pulling at her ear because she felt something on it. I had to stop her from hurting herself. I showed her the mirror with her pretty pink studs and I had no trouble. As for boys. I think I would leave that up to them for when they got older. I don't like face piercings though even though I did it in a mid life crisis situation. I started going through menopause and I wanted to be young again so I had a madonna top lip piercing to look trendy . I chose 9ct gold stud. When I was asleep I was dreaming of a spider crawling over my face. I woke up hitting my face and choking as I swallowed the stud. End of story.
had mine done at 19 Grandmas birthday present to me old way by Jeweller with ether needle and cork However I had my Daughters done when she was 3 the modern way and she loved her earings
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