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Should baby ear piercing be banned?

The only reason babies get their ears pierced is because their mothers think it looks cute. The babies can’t possibly have chosen to be pierced and so we should ban the act until they are of an age when they can choose.

All the Yes points:

  1. It inflicts unnecessary pain on the child.
  2. Risk of infection or injury.
  3. Children are beautiful as they are.
  4. Culture and tradition are not an excuse
  5. We cannot give businesses responsibility over childrens’ health
  6. Yes
  7. What’s the hurry?
  8. Why impose an adult’s ideal of beauty onto a baby?
  9. What’s wrong with clip-ons?
  10. It’s her ears, not theirs. She’s not a doll or the family pet.

All the No points:

  1. Ear piercing can help to identify the baby as a girl.
  2. Parents have the right to make that choice for their child.
  3. i don’t think it’d that bad,it’s a personal choice sand there sre other things that should be banned like CIGERETTES!and RED FOOD COLORING,& MSG,ETC.ETC…
  4. Ear piercing is not permanent
  5. It would be a financial blow for businesses and the government
  6. A baby does not tug on or play with their ears yet causing infection
  7. They do not sleep on their ears
  8. The pain is about the same as a shot
  9. It can be done in the doctor’s office

It inflicts unnecessary pain on the child.

Yes because…

No responsible parent should ever want their child to be in pain. It is hard enough watching your baby cry squirm when it has vaccinations! I think that making your child suffer in the name of fashion is cruel and vulgar.

Moreover the opposing point contradicts itself. On the one hand it states that pain is minimal and it does not cause any unnecessary or cruel suffering. On the other hand it admits that older children will experience pain with piercing and may be traumatized by such pain.

No because…

The pain suffered by a properly done ear piercing to the ear lobe is often less than that caused by a vaccination (or cutting their nails!). The pain it inflicts is minimal and doesn’t cause any unnecessary or cruel suffering. Any discomfort will be quickly forgotten by a baby once the piercings heal. Older children will be much more likely to remember any pain associated with piercing and may be more traumatized later in life.

Risk of infection or injury.

Yes because…

Any piercing carries the risk of infection, and this is particularly dangerous for babies. Surely a pair of earrings is not worth the risk of a child being hospitalised?

No because…

In this case it would be the responsibility of the parent to ensure that the piercing is kept clean and not tampered with. If the child is hospitalised because of an infection, then maybe it highlights a problem with the parent, rather than a minus point for banning baby ear piercing.

There are also many other risks in life that parents take that can cause a child to become hospitalized, such as a reacction to a vaccination, introducing new foods and having an allergic reaction.

If a parent does their research and makes sure that place chosen to pierce ears at is clean and sterile, The earrings come from a sealed sterilized package, and you research which meatals are not an allergen then there will be no issues with the piercing becoming infected, or needing to go to the hospital. Certain metals such as gold cause allergies, because gold is never pure and that is why if you talk to a professional body piercer they do not use it.

Children are beautiful as they are.

Yes because…

It is wrong to pierce a child’s ears to make him or her look more “attractive”. Our children should be free of vanity, it is hard enough worrying about how you look once you are a grown up.

Children are innocent, and shouldn’t be ‘tampered’ with. It looks trashy, and the child should have a choice, make it a right of passage at a certain age.. or something. If you’re going to pierce her ears, you may as well get a tattoo, too. It won’t hurt as much.

No because…

Parents buy clothes for their children, they wash their hair and are free to add other accoutrements if they so wish. Attractiveness is always on the agenda, often subconsciously, and we don’t force parents to make their children all look equally ugly. Ear piercings alone won’t make a child vain, and are a symptom, not a cause, of problems in society today.

Piercing ones ears is not an attempt to make a baby more attractive i am sorry but any body baby or adult who is already ugly (in whomever’s eyes) is not going to be found magically more attractive with pierced ears, because if it was then the whole world would have pierced ears.

Tattoos are ear piercings are not the same at all, that is like comparing apples to oranges.

Tattoos also are permanent while pierced ears are not, and if the child chooses later to not wear earrings they will close up.

Culture and tradition are not an excuse

Yes because…

Latin America is famous and infamous for a lot of things, as is Spain. If they wish to channel their culture along the lines of baby ear-piercing then so be it, but this does not mean it is necessarily suitable for any other culture. The lack of a ‘groundswell’ of opinion suggests widespread indifference – not correctness.

People have been throwing litter and smoking cannabis for hundreds of years too – this, similarly, does not make them worthwhile or sensible activities.

No because…

Spain and Latin American countries have been piercing baby girls’ ears for decades: it is a very ingrained part of their culture. And as far as I am aware there isn’t a groundswell of opinion that it is barbaric or dangerous. Why on earth should it be banned? There is too much cotton wool already in the world.

Australia is also famous and infamous for alot of things e.g too many childhood vaccinations, poor nutrition for children, obestity, Autism (which is low in Latin American countries) , childhood cancer etc, and the list goes on. Other countries around the world have good reason to fault our culture too, we are very far behind in a number of issues eg fair trade, environment, arts, natural medicine, culture etc etc More children are sick here than in Latin American counties.

We cannot give businesses responsibility over childrens’ health

Yes because…

The responsibility of piercing a child should not be given to individual piercing salons. They are likely to make the decision whether or not to carry out the piercing based on financial considerations rather than assessing the case medically based on the age of the child.

No because…

It should be left to the company who are resposible and who hold the licence on if their business should pierce babies ears. They pierce ears every day and are experienced enough to know what they are doing whether the client is a baby or an adult. Any adverse results will reflect on their reputation so they will be motivated to take the best care of the baby from a medical point of view.

The yes point is not true. When i called around to find out how old my daughter had to be to obtain an ear piercing they asked her age, as well as informed me she needed to have her first vaccination before she was allowed to be pierced. They also informed me that piericng them young is difficult because you can not ask them to hold their head still as you can with a two year old, and if she were to squirm too much it could cause the holes to be slightly crooked, or the piercer may choose not to do it at the time because the child is unable to be still long enough.

Company’s do not want to have bad customer service


Yes because…

Unnecessary pain, but even without that it also imposes the parents’ sensibilities and tastes on the child – its not as if a baby can decide for itself whether to get its ears pierced, can it?

No because…

I guess we shouldn’t dress our babies anymore because God forbid a parent’s taste is involved. I don’t remember any of my friends growing up and wishing their parents never pierced their ears as a baby…but I do recall girls that wanted earrings but their parents said no. Isn’t that impossing “the parent’s sensibilities and tastes on the child”? If my daughter doesn’t like earrings, there is a simple fix. She can take them out. I’ve seen parents do worse things to their babies than piercing their ears. I think a parent should make the decision. Banning is ridiculous.

Unnessary pain???? what about all the heel pricks they take when they are a newborn to test their blood for jaundice perhaps we shouldn’t put them through that either??? Vaccinations also cause pain.

What’s the hurry?

Yes because…

Why do you need to pierce a baby’s ears? So you’ll wait a couple of years until the kid can decide for herself, and then you pierce it- this way you steer clear of any trouble. Meanwhile- there’s plenty of other jewelery out there, and even stick-on earrings.

No because…

Well a stick on earring could end up in the babies mouth and make them sick.

Piercing ears early allows the parent to have control over when they are cleaned and how often. A baby will not play with the earring risking infection, as well as does not sleep on the side of their head allowing for the ears to heal quickly

Why impose an adult’s ideal of beauty onto a baby?

Yes because…

Clothing industries these days are producing bikinis for children younger than five and little girls who haven’t even hit the double numbers in age can wear jackets with ‘Sexy’ printed on the back. Many people deem these unacceptable, but there’s very little difference between that and ear piercing. It is upholding a mentality that little girls need to be conscious (or their parents be conscious) about their looks from an age where they should be allowed to freedom to just be kids – before the pressures of adulthood and their gender are thrust upon them. It also gives a negative message to a young child; that mutilating the body is acceptable for the sake of what our culture regards as beautiful.

No because…

What’s wrong with clip-ons?

Yes because…

If you do decide to get clip-ons and they get yanked off when the child is playing, rather than thinking, “Well it’ll be a lot less likely they’ll get lost with piercings and studs,” try instead thinking, “Maybe the fact they’re getting lost while playing suggests they are just kids playing and don’t care about their looks from that age.” It’s a perfect metaphor if you think about it! A child loosing fashion accessories while they’re playing – disregarding the constraints of adult life and supposed beauty for the freedom of just being a child! I have seen the opposite. Little boys frolicking around in comfortable clothing, while little girls try to play while poring over the neatness of their hair and fretting that their new dress has lost a sequin. They have all their life to harrass you pver style and looks, enjoy this time when they’re living in bliss without the anxiety of vanity.

No because…

It’s her ears, not theirs. She’s not a doll or the family pet.

Yes because…

Some people like to treat their babies as though they were the family pet: Get the dog’s tail cut. Get the cat de sexed and get kid’s ears pierced. It doesn’t matter to them that she is another human being, and will be living with it for about the next 90 yrs. I think it is a very selfish attitude and should forbidden by law up to an age where she can decide for herself.

No because…

Ear piercing can help to identify the baby as a girl.

No because…

It is often difficult to tell whether a baby is a boy or a girl. If its ears are pierced then people can immediately identify the baby as female

Arbitrary gender roles?? What about the colors of clothing we choose to dress our children in once they are born, pink, blue etc. So stating that putting a girl in a dress or skirt to tell the gender apart is placing them into an arbitraty gender role stating that girls should wear dresses and skirts and not boys.

Yes because…

It seems ridiculous to impose arbitrary gender roles on an infant. Why is it so important to know the sex of a baby? If it is necessary for some reason, I’m sure asking the parent would suffice. Besides, you can always have the baby wear a dress, a hairband or a skirt.

Very many parents pierce their sons’ ears. I don’t know what proportion but by what I’ve seen it is roughly equal among the genders.

Parents have the right to make that choice for their child.

No because…

Babies are not old enough to make decisions for themselves. If they don’t like the earrings when they are older, then you can just take them out.

It’s not just rooted in fashion either. Some cultures pierce for religious reasons. To take issue with this then you must also take issue with, for example, circumcision.

Fashion is imposed on a child the minute it comes into the world with the choices of clothing the parents put on their body, and not everyone chooses to pierce ears for fashion.

A piercing is not always permanet, both the tongue and belly button (for example) heal up perfectly when the piercing is removed.

Yes because…

It seems wrong for a parent to impose their own sense of fashion on a child who is too young to decide for themselves. The idea of parents piercing their baby’s ears underlies the more worrying concept of parents imposing ideals on their children and treating them as accessories.

Moreover, properly healed, the piercing itself is permanent unlike changes parents may make to a child’s fashion, hair etc

i don’t think it’d that bad,it’s a personal choice sand there sre other things that should be banned like CIGERETTES!and RED FOOD COLORING,& MSG,ETC.ETC…

No because…

Whilst I personally disagree with the idea that babies should have their ears pierced I am also fed up with a nanny state that sees fit to legislate all areas of our life.

If we want parents to not do this we should convince them through reason and argument. If we can’t convince them, and clearly we will never be able to convince everyone, so be it. Part of living in a society is accepting people will choose to do things we may think wrong. Provided the things they do don’t harm others then they state has no place controlling their actions.

Yes because…

The fact that we are talking about a vulnerable group such as babies who cannot speak up for themselves makes this an appropriate area for legislation.

If adults object to the state of the law in the UK they can take action to try to change it e.g. protest, contacting their MP, forming a pressure group. Babies have no choice in this matter and so need the law to protect them.

Furthermore, not being able to convince everyone by reason and argument is not a reason not to legislate. We would not consider dropping the law banning underage drinking to instead rely on convincing young people not to drink.

Ear piercing is not permanent

No because…

Aside from the fact that it is a safe and minor procedure, the effects of the piercing are reversible. If the child grows up and decides that they do not like having pierced ears they can simply wait for the pierce hole to close naturally, which happens when it is left alone for several weeks. Furthermore, tangibly and on the ground, there has been not much reported complaints from children who have suffered from their parents decision to pierce there ears. Thus there is not enough substantial reason for the government to intervene in the parent’s decision to pierce their children’s ears.

Yes because…

Not all piercings close. Many people find their piercings simply never completely close over.
As an example. My ears never close up, I have 3 piercings, one in each lobe and a piercing at the top. I don’t wear earrings for months, and only wear them for special occasions and they never have to be “re-pierced.” Which means the piercing is as permanent as a tattoo.

It would be a financial blow for businesses and the government

No because…

This is a pointless argument.
Ear piercings on babies or anyone will not be banned.

Because the British Government need the VAT from business owners.

Yes because…

The government make decisions based on what is best for the population- while financial considerations are taken into account, they never override health concerns. Otherwise many of the expensive licencing and inspection procedures which regulate businesses like beauty salons would not have been put in place.

A baby does not tug on or play with their ears yet causing infection

No because…

A baby does not touch and tug on their ears to cause infection

Yes because…

A two or three months old might not tuck at her pierced ears, but an older baby most definitely will- and a two or three months old child will inevitably grow to be a eight/nine months old child. Assuming that the child’s ears were pierced very early, the piercings will have healed by then, but constant tugging and touching could still cause potential problems.

They do not sleep on their ears

No because…

Babies do not sleep on their side yet they sleep on their backs not putting pressure on the ear and causing pain. Also too much pressure can cause the earring to become embedded in the ear itself

Yes because…

The pain is about the same as a shot

No because…

Parents vaccinate their babies from birth. This is a constant thing. Ear piercing is about a one time thing at the same amount of pain.

Yes because…

Not vaccinating a child can have serious consequences, such as illness, severe complications from the illness and death. The pain of the vaccination serves to protect the child. Pierced ears do not protect the child from anything and are in no way necessary. The issue is not necessarily how painful the ear piercing ritual is- it is the fact that pain is being caused to the baby in the name of vanity. Pierced ears also require maintenance that vaccine injection sites do not. It is not a “one time thing” because the earrings remain in place and need to be cleaned and turned on a regular basis.

It can be done in the doctor’s office

No because…

This ensures that everything is sterile and lowers the chance for infection.

Yes because…

While it CAN be done in a doctors office, that fact does not stop parents from taking their children to beauty parlors to have their ears pierced with guns instead.

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3 years ago

I hate wearing girly things even though im a girl. My parents considered getting my ears pierced when I was a baby but decided to let. me choose when I was older. I know it would have really bothered me if I had to wear earnings.

4 years ago

I worked in a jewelry store for years. It was my job to pierce ears. I refused any child under 5 and then I only would if they were brave enough to go thru it. My reason: It is illegal for me to walk up and pinch your baby, but because you sign a consent form I can drive a nail through their ear.

6 years ago

All of the “No” arguments are from the position of the parent, as if they “own” the child’s body. Those arguments are invalid.

6 years ago

I appreciate this article and it is an interesting read, however the leading statement implies that is only mothers that choose to pierce young children’s ears.
This is untrue and quite a misleading statement as it could be either parents or even grandparents who make the choice for the child involved.

I have witness children who have struggled with infection from pierced ears and those who haven’t I personally believe it is unnecessary stress for a young child and makes no different if the ears are pierced at 16 years old.

7 years ago

I had both my daughters’ ears pierced when they were three months old. They are now nine and seven years old. we have had no problems with their earrings and they both love being able to wear proper earrings while some of their friends at school are not able to do so. I think talk of banning baby ear piercing is just plain stupid.

Teabag 2007
4 years ago
Reply to  Dave

I still Don’t understand why baby piercings are legal. Piercings of minors. Baby piercings are parental. What i feel is their should be is I feel that the age of piercings practiced on people should be raised. I feel what should be introduced is piercers should refuse babies to be holed. As I say some people will disagree with what I’m saying. As I say some people say that by babies being holed painful, it’s actually more fair. It saves a person from feeling piercings when that person is older. That’s how some people see that.
It surprises me how many primary school children under the age of 10 have pierced ears. That i view as a adult hard to understand. Body mortifications on children I Don’t see that as apprioate. Parents have different views on how raise kids.
I feel banning the practice of piercings as uncessary since that would be prohibition.
I feel what should be looked at is why someone in society, would want holes in their body first place. Because as Parents, parents never ask what is behind loved ones choice for being pierced. Look at factors such as social bullying peer pressure to Fit in. Influence and coerchement.
With this subject. Teenagers in particular their is a rise of piercings, in that age group particularly.

Teabag 2007
4 years ago
Reply to  Teabag 2007

I Don’t understand why parents would want their baby holed. Depending on how you see the subject. People all have different views. Like this, holing babies is, can be seen like form of vindictism. Person isn’t of talking age so their is no persons say involved.

3 years ago
Reply to  Teabag 2007

One subject I find difficult is child piercings a subject I have but campaigned along time for to be banned upon in society.
As I say all people in society have different views.
I’m surprised actually not more Is said about this that not more people object to that. This to me is a serious subject.

3 years ago
Reply to  Scampi

I find the subject of piercings in little children particularly difficult am I the only one that thinks this? How some people in society get involved by that subject through advertising concerns me further. A subject that concerns me in society, is seeing children in dark alleyways shopping malls backstreets, screaming being pierced subject of body piercings, disturbing undertone that I wish to highlight to all guardians. Please never let children be exposed to this topic. Forgive me for sounding old fashioned.

11 years ago

I had sever ear infections starting at 6 months old which caused a lot of pain and I would pull and tug at my ears. if I had pierced ears I would have ripped them out. many people think it is better to get it done early so that the child wont have to endure the pain later on but its really not that painful. Plus if the earring comes out and you don’t know the baby could think it is pretty and want to eat it. Which can cause choking!

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