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.

  • 2
    This is quite vague as the answer can vary substantially between 1 month old and 17 years old. Nov 24, 2015 at 3:11
  • @JeremyMiller yes, the question is intentionally left vague to allow people to give different answers. This question allows people to answer based on principles of rights of the child and self determination. Maybe there should be 3 questions? Infant child, under 12 child, and teen child?
    – user19912
    Nov 24, 2015 at 10:57
  • I think you would have better luck asking about children who are too young to ask for it themselves. Maybe 5 and under. After that the answer could simply be that the child wanted their ears pierced like mommy... teacher.. friend at school etc.
    – user7678
    Nov 25, 2015 at 13:57
  • I vote to close this as too broad. No age is given and the OP wrote in a comment: "the question is intentionally left vague to allow people to give different answers." This is entirely against the spirit of SE and the definition of a too broad question. Every question should have one correct answer (but many answers can be written), not many correct answers like here, for every age group. Jun 1, 2019 at 12:37

2 Answers 2



  • 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.

  • 3
    This is something of a mixed bag of ages (e.g. "wait until the child can care for the piercing themselves"). Also could be improved with some citations (e.g. "at least two weeks after the first tetanus shot" or "too young to give assent") and specificity (e.g. "very rare situations" = 1/1000000, 1/1000?).
    – Acire
    Nov 22, 2015 at 21:36
  • Hi @erica - the ages will rely on the individual child. To give assent they need to understand what's going to be done, and understand some of the possible risks, and say clearly that they want it. For some children this could be 7 years old, for others it might be 10. It's unlikely to be 5 years old or younger. Some parents will ignore consent / assent, and will make the choice for their child. Which is why the younger ages are listed. I'll try to get sources. Thank you for your comment!
    – user19912
    Nov 23, 2015 at 20:03
  • 1
    I remember having my ears pierced before kindergarten - I think I would have been around 4 years old. I also remember that I thought it would hurt the same every time they changed my earrings so when they took them out I wouldn't let them put a new set in. So if anyone runs into a child that wont let them put a different set of earrings in, make sure the kid knows it wont feel like there getting pierced again :)
    – user7678
    Nov 25, 2015 at 14:00

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.