Getting Your Ears Pierced for the First Time

Getting your ears pierced is an exciting and special event. Before you make the appointment to pierce, let's cover a few things you should know.

What age is appropriate for ear piercing?

  • Some cultures pierce almost immediately when children are babies.
  • Most children start asking around 9 or 10 to have their ears pierced, as their peers at school begin to have theirs done.
  • In general, age varies and it's up to you and your child to know when the time is right - just be sure you and your child are aware of the responsibility to care for ear piercings.
  • If you want to have your baby's ears pierced, it's a good idea to consult with your pediatrician ahead of time.

What is the process?

  • Generally, an air gun or needle is used.
  • You can visit an establishment that does ear piercing, or you can check with your doctor to see if she or he will perform the procedure.
  • Make sure the practitioner is wearing surgical gloves and all surfaces and instruments are sanitized.

What type of earrings are best for a first ear piercing?

  • Choose a metal that is nickel-free for babies and only contains trace amounts for older children.
  • Earrings with screw-on backs and short posts are recommended for babies, because friction backs can loosen and become a choking hazard.After the piercing has healed, avoid drop earrings and hoops because they can catch on clothing or other objects and are easier for babies to pull.

How do you care for and clean newly pierced ears?

  • Earrings must stay in for at least 6 weeks to prevent the holes from closing.
  • Clean the piercings twice a day with a sterile saline solution made for wound care and clean cotton swabs. It is crucial to do this to prevent infection.
  • Turn the earrings a few times a day to avoid scar tissue.
  • Most piercing facilities will supply you with a cleaning solution and detailed aftercare instructions.

What are some popular earring styles for tweens?

  • Nature inspired: Bees, butterflies, and flowers
  • Hearts: solid or with diamonds or lab-created gems
  • Personal interests or birthstones