Parenting: Ear Piercing

October 8, 2012

Dr. John DelGiorno of Advocare DelGiorno Pediatrics in Blackwood, NJ says if you're getting your child's ears pierced take a few precautions.

"You should watch where you get it done because there have been a couple case reports of hepatitis B and C," Dr. DelGiorno said.

Dr. John says the earrings should be 14 karat gold or steel to avoid a foreign body infection from the ear.

We had a problem with my daughter's earring being too tight and it turns out that can cause a serious issue.

"We've had a few cases where the back of earring was eroded into the earlobe, where it got stuck in there and they couldn't get it out and had to send it to an ear, nose, and throat specialist," Dr. DelGiorno said.

To avoid these problems, go to an experienced professional. Very few pediatricians still do ear piercing. If you go to the piercing places in the mall, be sure to watch them first for cleanliness. Make sure they sanitize the ear and ask how many piercings they do a day.

Dr. John suggests you get both ears done at the same time.

If you have a young child, watch they don't swallow a loose earring during a nap.

And it could be a special concern if your child is less than 6 months old.

"Kids under six months you always worry about puncture wounds because they haven't had too many DPTs yet, which would be tetanus from a puncture wound," Dr. DelGiorno said.

Dr. John says the ear is actually prone to infection. So clean the ear regularly and be on the lookout for a yellowish discharge which would indicate infection.

One more piece of advice, I didn't realize if your kids play sports you have to do this in the offseason. You're not allowed to take new pierced earrings out and the refs and coaches won't let your kids play.

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