There has always been controversy over piercing a baby’s ears so today I tackle this parenting debate. I have seen mothers actually calling another mother an abuser because she had uploaded a picture of her baby who had just had its ears pierced. None of my 6 children had their ears pierced as babies, in fact only my eldest daughter has hers pierced and this was done on her 12th birthday.
Is piercing your babies ears child abuse or is abuse to harsh a word to use?
Let’s take a look at what the word abuse actually means: If you abuse someone, it means you are hurting that person, mentally, emotionally, or physically. (vocabulary.com)
Does having your baby’s ears pierced physically hurt them? Yes
Have they asked you to inflict pain upon them? No
Do they know having this done to them is going to hurt them? No
Because you are physically hurting your baby it is abuse: If you abuse someone, it means you are hurting that person.
Is Piercing A Baby’s Ears Child Abuse?
I asked a professional piercing friend of mine what her own thoughts were on piercing a baby’s ears and this is what she had to say:
I believe piercing babies ears is bordering on abuse and completely unnecessary. There is no benefit to a child having jewellery in their ears, other than the parents vanity. A baby is not a fashion accessory. In my opinion, it looks tacky and I admit I do judge parents of babies with ear piercings. I also do not buy into the ‘cultural reasons’ argument; coming from a cultural background myself where the piercing of babies ears is normal practice.
On another point, NO reputable piercer will pierce a young child, let alone a baby. These parents who choose to have their babies ears pierced are allowing people who are NOT professionally trained in the art of body piercing to piercing their small children and babies using piercing guns.
Piercing guns are not sterile; they CANNOT be put into an autoclave. They are reused from person to person, meaning they contain spores of bacteria from various people. Guns do not create a clean hole. They cause internal tears throughout the piercing site, leaving the piercing susceptible to infections for the lifetime of the piercing.
I am a body piercer, and there are many of us who see infected, deformed piercings on a very regular basis from the use of guns by those who also aren’t trained. Babies are beautiful, they do not need jewellery pierced through their ears.
I asked the mums on my Facebook support group what their views were on piercing a baby’s ears:
I believe it is an unnecessary pain a child should not have to suffer even if it’s only quick and pain don’t last. It may look pretty and cute but when the child grows up it may not like it. I am speaking from experience my nan had my ears pierced at 6 months old altho I don’t remember it, I hate my ears being pierced and never wanted to wear earrings. It should be left till the child asks for it.
I had my daughters ears pierced when she was 11 months old, the same age I was when I had mine done. She has never had any problems and loves shopping for earrings. Altho I’m particular about what she has in her ears she loves her earring. My sisters were older and there’s got infected etc and they now don’t wear earrings at all.
I don’t think it’s “abuse”. But I think it’s mean and unnecessary.
I think it’s wrong and always say give them the choice when they can voice their opinions otherwise they might see it as pain caused by their own parents and they don’t understand why it’s happening. I didn’t have mine done till I was 15 and I am glad my mum didn’t do it when I was little as it bloody hurt. I wouldn’t put any child through that for fashion
My kids all had their ear pierced when they asked for them and were old enough to understand that it would hurt. Piercing a hole in someone’s body should be their choice no one else’s. If you gave your 11-year-old a nose piercing or a belly piercing that would be classed as abuse. Why would you hold down your baby and let someone stab them through the ear making them cry their eyes out? I had a hard enough time letting the nurses do their vaccinations.
I think it should be done when they want it done.
I don’t agree with piercing baby’s ears, what benefit does it have to a child? My mum had my ears pierced when I was 12 months old and they have never closed up. I’m petrified of needles and even faint when I have blood taken. My daughter is 12 and asked for them to be done in February and I wasn’t convinced she was old enough to make the decision herself. She pestered for months and I gave in to her. But how can a baby decide that?
I can not stand babies who have their ears pierced. I believe in choice. They have not chosen to be put through pain.
I don’t agree with it at all. If you were to pierce adult ears without their consent you be charged for assault and facing a criminal record, but as it’s a baby nothing is done. It’s not needed and it should be something the child decides they want to be done. Inflicting pain for vanity is wrong.
I think abuse is too harsh, a poor baby/child being smacked about every day, starved and mentally tortured is abuse so I think it’s an insult to compare the two. I do not agree with piercing baby’s ears, however, it is pointless and purely for the parents satisfaction. Let the child decide when they are old enough.
I can’t stand it you wouldn’t pierce a babies nose, belly button or lip and there is no difference as far as I’m concerned. I couldn’t stand my babies having their necessary injections never mind purposely shoving a needle through their ears for fashion.
It’s one of my biggest pet hates. Having your ears pierced is painful. So why would you deliberately inflict pain on your child? Let them decide for themselves when they are older.
My eldest daughter didn’t have her ears pierced until she was 4 and that was because she begged & begged. I explained that she has to look after them and clean them a lot and she said she understood. She has looked after them. My eldest 3 boys had theirs done the same time (8, 10, 11 at the time) My 3-year-old won’t be having them done until she asks and understands that she also has to look after them. My partners cousin had hers done around the same time (she was also 4) and has since had them taken out as she didn’t look after them. She just wanted “pretty ears,” I told her mum to invest in those sticker earrings, all the sparkles, without the aftercare. So yes, I agree, unless it is a choice made by the child and it is understood that they need to be looked after it is borderline abuse, especially in babies.
I feel it’s unnecessary, they cannot tell you if they want it done so why do it to them? When they are old enough to make up their own mind then that’s fine. I feel that there should be a law on it, no baby under 4 should have their ears pierced. I hate taking my daughter for her injections let alone take her to get her ears pierced. I would rather wait till she’s old enough to tell us and then she can choose what ones she wants and it’s something you can do together as you can explain there will be a bit of pain and they need to look after them.
I don’t think it’s abuse as that’s a very drastic word to use seeing as abuse is a very serious issue but that being said I Don’t think piercing babies ears is right at all. It worries me that they will rip them out of they will get infected. Plus it’s an unnecessary pain. I debated this once with a woman that tried to compare it to vaccinations which is absolutely ridiculous, vaccinations save lives, ear piercing doesn’t.
I wouldn’t say it was abuse as such but it is wrong. I don’t believe a baby needs their ears pierced at all what exactly is the point of it? If they don’t need it then don’t do it simple as.
I think a child should be old enough to choose to have it done what right do we have to put holes in them and cause them pain for beauty my opinion.
I think abuse is a bit of harsh word to use, I don’t think it’s abuse. I do think it’s a bit mean to inflict unnecessary pain, even if it is only for a short period. I think they should be able to ask for it to be done and understand cleaning and looking after the piercing. I won’t be doing my daughters until she can ask for it to be done it’s her body so it should be her choice, not mine.
Actually the more I think about it, it is not abuse its assault. The equivalent if I just grabbed you sat you down and pierced your ears without consent, surely that’s more than abuse?
I don’t think it’s abuse my 3 girls had theirs done at about 10 months old, they are 10, 8 and 4 now, they have never caused them any problems. I think when they have them done little they don’t mess with them, once they get older they fiddle with them and that is when it can cause infections. My friend has had her daughters done twice at aged 5 and 7 and both times she has had infections because she kept touching them. If mine decides when they are older they want to take them out then it’s up to them.
I had my daughter done when she was 1 they got infected so had to take them out had them done again at 3 then she took them out would never do it again never had my youngest daughters done.
My sister had my nieces done at 3 months old. She didn’t realise the woman who pierced them also scratched her face with her long nails! Her ears were fine but she got an infection in her face from the scratch
I had my eldest daughters ears pierced when she was 2.5 years old ( I regret it) I took them out a few months later and I’d never get my younger daughters done until she asks. I’m from a travelling background and guess I felt pressured to get my eldest done as they have their babies done when very young, my daughter got hers done late in their eyes. I’m distraught to think that people think I abused my daughter by doing this.
We had our 1st daughters done at an early age and whilst we had them she never had a problem with them and I will have our 2nd daughters done when she’s young too. I’d prefer her to grow up with them, I had mine done at a late age and I hated the pain and they got infected and I no longer have them now. It’s such a big debate topic isn’t it? At end of the day it’s personal preference but abuse is to strong a word.
You could call a lot of things abuse then. having your child’s ears pierced, forcing your child to take antibiotics, eating food they don’t like, forcing them to go to bed when they don’t want to, forcing them to go to school when they don’t want, to the list is endless.
Do you agree with any of the comments?
What are your own views on piercing baby’s ears, is it abuse?