Let’s Talk: Would you call this child cruelty? 187

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A petition in the UK is calling for a ban on a common beauty procedure, arguing that it is a form of child cruelty. The petition gathered more than 30,000 signatures in record time and continues to attract more.

Written by mother, Susan Ingram, the online petition reads: “[Ear piercing] is a form of child cruelty. Severe pain and fear is inflicted upon infants unnecessarily. It serves no purpose other than to satisfy the parent’s vanity. Other forms of physically harming children are illegal- this should be no different”.

In response, Labour MP Mark Tami announced he would raise the issue of an age restriction on piercings in the House of Commons.

“If we allowed parents to do other things to their children’s faces, like tattooing, that would be appalling, but although piercings can heal, they can still cause distorting affects on the ear, in the skin and muscle,” Mr Tami told the Guardian.

In Australia laws vary from state to state but generally speaking the age restriction for ear piercing is over 16 unless the child is accompanied by an adult, which would obviously be the case for babies and children.

There are many reasons people choose to pierce their child’s ears. It may be culturally relevant for families with Indian or Spanish backgrounds, for example. Others say it is kinder to have the procedure done before the child is old enough to remember it happening. And others simply like the way it looks.

I remember the day I had my ears pierced (sneakily because Mum said I couldn’t until I was 15, which was three whole years away). Quite frankly, it hurt and was a pretty traumatic experience, the hole in one ear is wonky, it got badly infected and still closes up after all these years. Sure I wished I’d had it done when I was a baby, but when the time came I simply couldn’t bring myself to have the procedure done to my little girl (incidentally, she has to wait until she’s 10).

But that’s just my story. Did you get your child’s ears pierced? Do your grandkids have theirs done? If so, how do you feel about it?

Let’s talk: Is it okay to have babies’ and children’s ears pierced? 



Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. i have pierced ears and had to cadjole my parents into agreeing aged about 13…”but mom! EVERY ONE has pieced ears!!!” personal choice i think, my choice would be to let the child choose for themselves.

    2 REPLY
  2. AS a nurse I have seen some horrible consequences of ear piercing in babies and toddlers. Please leave til the child is a teenager at least and can be taught to care for them.

    5 REPLY
    • I wouldn’t go so far as to call it child abuse: Heaven knows I’ve seen plenty of that, sadly, but it is an unnecessary procedure and I have seen kids scarred for life.

    • I’ve seen a 5 year old in ED with the back of her stud buried in the ear lobe so it could not be seen. Mum thought she’d lost it then the ear became sore!

    • I recall similarr, Elizabeth, including one little girl with her earlobe just a huge collection of pus; ended up losing part of her ear.

  3. My daughter got her ears pierced as all her friends were getting theirs done she wears some beautiful earrings now I’ve had mine done just about all my friends have piersed eRs

  4. you all over exagerate. i had mine done as a small child. no problems. i had my daughter done by a doctor who numbed her ears and then put gold earings on her, no pain, no screaming.

    6 REPLY
    • Same here Gabrielle ! I had my daughters done by a Dr too . Gold sleepers and not the cheap studs done by a gun . Dr puts a spray on the ears to freeze them . Didn’t bother my daughter at all .

    • Yes Bronwen and so does anything we do … everything carries a risk. We should not wrap kids in cotton wool “just in case” something happens!

    • It’s a tradition in some cultures and doing it safely is primary concern. People should keep their opinions to themselves and not interfere in other people’s doings. That’s what is wrong in todays society. Everyone has an opinion that they consider is the only right one. Concentrate on child abuse and violence and not on family traditions that hurt no one.

    • Agree Gabriella Zuccarini Zeffiro we have unprecedented numbers of domestic violence including children and ear piercing is in no way abuse

    • I am sure children will experience pain many times during their childhood. Sooky parents. My three boys were circumcised and were brought to me for a feed soon after and were in no way traumatised. I have had my ears pierced and been with my 2 year old granddaughter when she had hers done, it is so quick she barely yelled. Not much worse than babies having their inoculations.

  5. It is not OMG when will this stuff stop. It stings for a split second, if looked after they do not get infected. If the child doesn’t like them in years to come they can let them grow over. Most children want them done.

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