I still remember the day I first got my ears pierced and I also remember the day when I got them pierced again years later because they had grown in the first time after battling infection after infection. When it came to my three girls getting their ears pierced, I wanted to be sure to teach them how to care for newly pierced ears so that they could avoid infection and having to have them re-pierced.
Unfortunately, two of my girls turned out to be allergic to all but gold earrings so they did get infections and eventually we had to let their earring holes grow in until they were older and then we tried again. This time, we have stuck to gold earrings with one of them and plastic posts with the other and have not had trouble. Our youngest daughter is able to wear any earrings and still has her original holes.
How To Care For Pierced Ears
Before Having Their Ears Pierced:
If your child is old enough, when getting ears pierced for the first time, discuss with them beforehand the aftercare that will be required. Be sure that they understand that they will not be able to change their new earrings for quite some time and that playing with their earrings when their hands aren’t clean can lead to infection.
Where To Get Ears Pierced:
Have ears pierced at a reputable place with qualified staff. You do not want to risk unsanitary equipment or inexperienced staff who get the placement wrong or make things more painful than they need to be for your child.
Best Earrings For Newly Pierced Ears:
Be sure that the earrings have a gold post which is less likely to cause swelling or infection. If your child has a nickel allergy, you can instead choose plastic post earrings.
New Ear Piercing Care:
- Wash hands thoroughly before touching the ears or the earrings.
- Use a cotton swab (Q-tip) with salt water to clean the area around the hole twice a day. Some recommend using hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, or antibiotic ointment but salt water disinfects and is less damaging to the skin tissue. The place where you have the piercing done will likely recommend an ear piercing cleaning solution, but salt water is what I would recommend (not only is it better for the skin, it’s less expensive too!).
- With clean hands, gently rotate the earrings in the ear at least twice a day.
- Watch for signs of infection which include redness, itching, swelling, heat, pus, and pain. Infection can be caused by bacteria or by allergic reaction.
This video has some great tips for piercing after care as far as what to avoid and the best after care products.
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Can You Go Swimming After Getting Your Ears Pierced?
It is good to wait 2-3 weeks before going swimming as the bacteria and chlorine can cause irritation and possible infection.
How Long For Pierced Ears To Heal?
- Leave the original earrings in for about 6 weeks, until the holes have healed completely.
- If your child is active or involved in sports, I would recommend they wear small studs instead of hoops or dangly earrings which can get caught or tangled and in some cases, even rip through their ear lobe.
Deciding whether or not to pierce your child’s ears as well as deciding what age to do that is a decision best left up to each individual parent. Some parents have their daughters’ ears pierced when they are babies while others wait until their kids are old enough to be part of the decision or are old enough to help with the care and maintenance of them. Whatever the case is in your household, proper aftercare is important.