Gauging an older child’s readiness for ear piercing can be challenging. Older children are hungry for independence and may be reluctant to have their parents monitoring their ear piercing aftercare, something that is crucial for ensuring a new piercing heals safely. If this sounds like your situation, here are 4 factors to help determine if your child is ready to care for a new piercing:
Does your child understand the importance of hand washing and making sure their hands are clean before touching their ears, eyes, nose, and mouth? After a new piercing, it’s critical that only clean hands touch newly-pierced ears. If you think this will be challenging for your child, consider waiting until your child’s personal hygiene has improved.
Is your child good at sticking to a schedule? If so, that’s a positive sign they may be ready to care for their new ear piercing. A new earlobe piercing must be cleaned at least 3 times a day for the 6 weeks it takes to heal. Cartilage piercings require 12 weeks of healing time. To help your child maintain their aftercare routine, you can post a simple chart or calendar for them to check off 3 times daily after they clean their piercing.
Keeping a new ear piercing safe is important for all kids, especially if they’re physically active or play sports. Be sure that your child knows to avoid knocking or catching their new piercing earrings. Consider the types of sports they play and find out if they can wear earrings during practices or games. For contact sports, ask if the coach or league will allow you to tape over the piercing with athletic tape for extra protection. Piercing earrings must stay in during the entire healing period, so if your child’s sport prohibits wearing earrings, you will need to wait for the off-season.
If you are still undecided about your child’s readiness for ear piercing, consider having them demonstrate their ability to be responsible for their aftercare by offering a new chore such as watering the plants or feeding the family pet. Be sure to set clear expectations and a reasonable timeframe for the test, with the understanding that success will be rewarded with a new ear piercing!
A special note to parents: it is important for you to make sure that your child is cleaning their new piercing properly. Even if your child is old enough to clean the piercing themselves, check their piercing daily to make sure it is healing safely. If the piercing site becomes red, swollen, or shows any signs of infection or metal allergy, see your physician immediately. Click here for more information about ear piercing aftercare.
If you’ve decided your child is ready for their first ear piercing, the next step is finding an ear piercing location near you. Use our store locator to find the Inverness location nearest to you.