This Is Why You Should Never, Ever Pierce Your Child’s Ears at a Mall

It could make a HUGE difference for your child's health—and your sanity.

ShutterstockEar piercing is an important rite of passage for every kid—and their parents. That said, it’s completely normal if you feel more nervous than your child for the big event. But don’t worry! You’re not about to make a dangerous parenting mistake. If you do the right research, the process can be (relatively) painless… for the both of you.

Experts recommend that parents avoid getting their child’s ears pierced with a gun, a technique commonly used at stores in the mall. Why? Since guns don’t actually pierce the skin, your child could be in for an unpleasant healing process.

“The stud gets placed into the gun and the gun uses blunt force to get it through the ear. It punctures it, not pierces it,” Brian Keith Thompson, owner and chief piercing officer of Body Electric Tattoo in Los Angeles, told PopSugar Moms. “The needle is made to pierce the skin. It heals faster. You can sterilize it.”

While a needle can be sterilized, a plastic gun can’t be exposed to heat and steam for proper sanitation. That leaves the piercing more susceptible to infection later on.

So rather than immediately heading to a kiosk in the mall, ask if your dermatologist or pediatrician does piercings, instead. Even if they don’t, they could give you a trusted recommendation. Most importantly, find a technician that follows basic safety protocol, such as cleaning your child’s earlobes with an alcohol pad and using an individual, sterile needle for each ear, Lisa Garner, M.D., a dermatologist in Garland, Texas, told Parents magazine.

Once the deed is done, upkeep is no sweat. Parents recommends using a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to clean the front and back of the earrings twice a day. And don’t remove the earring until at least six weeks after the appointment; you need to give it a chance to heal and become permanent.

Hey, you may not be SuperMom, but these absolutely brilliant parenting hacks are a great start. (In fact, you’ll wish you had known about them sooner!)

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