Should I Let My Daughter Have Her Ears Pierced?

The last few months have been a bit of a whirlwind. The current lockdown has made prioritising certain things a challenge. Most of us are working from home, doing food shopping, laundry, household chores, homeschooling our children and attending classes on zoom. So, that work life balance doesn't seem to be so smooth and life feels exhausting and overwhelming. It has been an unforgettable time to say the least.

With everything that is going on in the world, most of us feel out of sorts and way more stressed than usual. After being in lockdown for the better part of a year I have completely lost all sense of time and can't keep track. It’s important to acknowledge these feelings and take the time to take a minute, breath, and to focus on all the positives that have happened during these uncertain times. 

My daughter has been spending more time at home. We muddled our way through home schooling, explored adventures on daily walks and like to relaxing and unwinding with self care afternoons. All three of us took full advantage of the opportunity that we can spend more time together and embrace every single moment with them. It has been during this time that I have REALLY noticed how grown up my little girl has become. 

Everyday she tells me that she's a big girl and that she's not going to be my baby again. And my heart shatters, every time. Don't get me wrong she hasn't been my baby baby quite some time. But when she says those words to me, it doesn't make it hurt any less. I don't think I will ever be prepared enough to watch her become even more independent and confident in her own decisions. But it's something that makes me incredibly proud. 

Recently, she made an announcement out of the blue that she wanted to get her ears pierced. It took me by surprised, especially as she went with her cousin to watch her get her ears pierced and she cried. My husband was more than happy to book an appointment to get them done, there and then. However, I just couldn't say yes. 

It was so out of nowhere and I want her to make this decision knowing all the fact, not to get them done a whim. There is no agreed upon age that a little girl should get her ears pierced. I remember pestering my parents to get my ears pierced at seven years old and after a lot of pleading with her my mum finally gave in. I remember the pain of getting my first ear pierced, and not wanting to go through with the other ear. But after an hour or so, my mum convinced me to get the other done. That experience lived so vividly in my mind. 

But my daughter is only six. Isn't childhood short enough as it is without encouraging them to grow up too fast? It was important for us to sit down with our daughter to tell her evening that's involved with getting her ears pierced. While it is a safe procedure, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, any time a needle pierces skin, there is a risk of introducing ear infection into the area. The first few weeks the ear may be tender, itchy and the surrounding area may look slightly red on the skin. But these are completely normal for a new piercing. But if a piercing becomes swollen, painful, hot to touch or you have fluid coming from the ear then your piercing may be infected. You may need medical attention. Ear infections are really common and if left they may be serious that may require medical attention. Auris Ear Care offer on demand ear care which includes ear wax removal, foreign body removal and of course ear infection treatments. 

Second, small earrings can become a choking hazard if they are pulled out of the ear and end up in the mouth. Also, some people can be sensitive or even allergic to the metal in the earring. My sister has a severe reaction to her gold earring that her butterfly stud became stuck behind an infection - she was in a lot of pain and it put her off earrings for life. It is also best to wait until a later age when your daughter is old enough to take care of them herself. 

Then, there's the aftercare. The salt water baths, popping on a plaster for PE and making sure that she can put them in and out of her ears safely. So can my six year old take this kind of responsibility for herself? Of course, it's her body, her choice - which is something that I have to understand and respect. 
I want her to know that she's allowed to explore. That she has a mother who supports her, no matter her decision. She needs unconditional love, yet still have those boundaries so she doesn't get top far ahead. I know she needs to grow up and I do think I'm finally ready to let her.