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Pet Peeve #84

I tend to dislike parents who pierce their infant's ears.

Explain to me why they can't allow their child to have some say-so over his, or, in most cases, her, body? Maybe he or she doesn't want pierced ears. What on earth would it hurt to wait until the child is old enough to make an autonomous decision? Even if the individual opts to let them heal over, there's still scar tissue there that didn't have to exist.

Outside of the ethical issues, why open your child up to the possibility of contact dermatitis, keloid formation, or possibly swallowing the earring? Don't babies have enough stuff to get through already? And I've read that infants have greater risk because their immune systems aren't fully developed yet.

I'm aware of the Hindu tradition on this, but on this one, I think practicality and the well-being of the child should take precedence over religious belief. Just because an action is steeped in tradition does not make it a just action. Sometimes tradition needs a swift kick in the butt with the boot of informed consent.

I say this as someone who made the conscious decision to get her ears pierced at around age 14 or so. The other immediate female members of my family do not have pierced ears. I think my mother was very wise to make me wait.

Comments

hokiegirl1
Oct. 13th, 2005 02:41 am (UTC)
I have to say that my parents were one of "those people". I got my ears pierced early on and i think it's a good and bad thing. I love that I never had to deal with fear of "oh my God, I'm so scared to get them pierced", that they never close up even if I haven't worn an earring in over 3 years, BUT I hate that because my ears grew they are too hight and small hoops don't look as good.
Anyway, I''m at odds whether I'd do it to my child. I really don't mind that my mom did it for me, I had ear infections so they told me, never swallowed or bothered with the earrings, but at the same time would never want to impose anything on my kids that they may potentiially may not like
pointedview
Oct. 13th, 2005 04:07 am (UTC)
Now, see, this is good. Thank you very much for responding, hokiegirl1. :)

I hadn't even considered the ear growth/proportion thing. So, it didn't bother you that you never had the option of knowing what it felt like to have non-pierced ears? Do you feel it affected your decision whether or not to have them pierced again? (For a time, it was fashionable to have double piercings and such.)

I appreciate hearing from someone who has been through it, and I hope I didn't make you or anyone else who has been through the experience feel uncomfortable. (Oh, and if I ever meet your parents, I promise I will be polite and keep my mouth shut. :) )

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