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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

whats_er_name
Oct. 13th, 2005 06:38 pm (UTC)
As a person who just happened to stumble upon your LJ (Fellow Browncoat, here.), and one who was forced in her job to pierce infants, I agree. I worked as a manager at a Claire's boutique where we pierced ears as early as 2 months old.

The only way to pierce an infant's ears and get them in the correct spot without them moving mid-procedure is to have the parent hold them down. Their arms and head. Tight. Most babies cry just because of that.

When marking an infants' ears, you have to move the spot lower and farther away from, considering that your ears are one of the only facial features that grow as you do. Most parents fight with you on this. It doesn't 'look right' because it's not in the same spot as you would put for a teenager/adult. You can try to explain it to them, but you still get a few who make you change it. I feel sorry for their children.

The risks and complications are all signifigant. And in our particular boutique, all we had were the pointed studs with the locking clutch backs. Infants need screw on backings. The posts are so long if they accidentally get pushed on further on the stud, the backing will pierce an infants skin and skull easily when they lean on it.

I refuse to do the infant piercings after a few of them, and soon after quit my job. And believe me, I've dealt with my load of young girl (10-14 age range) who SCREAM out of fear. It's not a fun thing to do.. I'm glad my parents waited 'til I was much older, even if I did have to let them close and be re-pierced later.

Anyway, just dropping the two cents of a random stranger in the mix. ^^
pointedview
Oct. 13th, 2005 09:55 pm (UTC)
Hullo, my Browncoat sister! Thank you very much for stopping by. I always enjoy it when someone new stops by to freshen the place up a bit.

So, the parents hold their babies down and injure them by putting long, pointed metal posts in their ears? I don't blame you at all for quitting that job.

Thank you again for dropping by and sharing your first-hand experience.

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