What are the advantages or disadvantages of piercing a child's ears? The question is for children of any age (under 18), so say in your answer what age you're talking about.
There is no medical reason to pierce your infant's ears.
The infant is not able to give consent, and may be too young to give assent.
Ear piercing is painful.
Pierced ears carry a risk of infection. In very rare situations that infection could kill the child. Mostly the infection would be treated with antibiotics, which also carry some risk of harm.
For very young infants: the piercing jewelry can come loose. The infant can inhale the loose jewelry, or swallow it. There's a risk of injury from either.
Pierced ears carry a risk of tearing earlobes if the infant falls. (For example, when learning to walk).
There are not always controls over cleanliness or skill of ear piercing businesses.
Some people claim the pain is forgotton. (Although there's nothing to support that.)
Some people have cultural, religious, reasons.
If you are going to pierce your infant's ears you should wait until the child can care for the piercing themselves with out help. If you need to do it earlier you should wait until the child has had all their tetanus shots. If you need to do it even earlier you should wait at least two weeks after the first tetanus shot. No one recommends piercing the ears earlier than that.
Leopold Sparks has covered the cons very well, so I'll just add to the pro side, based on my experience of getting my ears pierced at age 7.
- A little boost to low self-esteem and self-image issues, as I felt so pretty and girlie.
- A sense of social acceptance among classmates who also had pierced ears.
- A sense of personal responsibility and learning how to care for my own physical health by being in charge of keeping the area disinfected myself (under supervision).
- Learning how to endure physical pain when it was a necessary evil for something I wanted.
- For the following few years, birthday presents were very easy for friends and relatives, as I was always delighted to get new earrings.