A campaign petitioning to make piercing babies’ ears illegal has gone viral, with thousands of parents calling it a form of ‘child cruelty’.
In an article we shared on Facebook yesterday, hundreds of people commented saying that they think it’s a ‘disgusting’ and ‘horrible’ thing for parents to do and that it takes the decision away from the child – proving what a controversial topic it is.
But is it all that bad? Not everyone thinks so. In fact, the most ‘liked’ comment on Yahoo UK’s Facebook post about the petition was from a mum who admitted she pierced both of her daughter’s ears, writing, ‘It’s really no one’s business but mine and my family.”
We decided to look into it further, and chatted to a mum of two who did the same for her daughters at just four months and two weeks old – the earliest point you can get a child's ears pierced in the UK.
Dani Korach, from London, says she’s “an avid believer in ear piercing” and explains that for her there was never a decision to make – her girls were always going to get their lobes pierced at the earliest possible moment.
For her, it’s a cultural decision – her mum’s from Gibraltar and for their family it’s simply the norm. A Spanish custom that everyone adheres to.
“I just never even considered not doing it,” she explains. In fact, it’s so common in Spain that women in the throes of labour go into hospital with a pair of earrings in hand – so that the doctor or midwife can pierce the child’s ears as soon as she arrives.
“For my family that is still in Gibraltar, it’s virtually unheard of to have a baby daughter who doesn’t have her ears pierced – you would just never see it. It’s not really an option,” says Dani. “I was born here in London, but my mum took me to see her parents in Gibraltor when I was a couple of years old and they pierced my ears there. In London, at the time, they didn’t do it so young.
“For us it’s very strange to have a girl without earrings in. It is what you’re used to, what you’re brought up with.”
Here in the UK, it’s a different story. Not many young babies have their ears pierced and if a parent, like Dani, is adamant that they want it done, they have to wait until the child’s four and a half months old.
“I didn’t find anywhere that would do it earlier,” says Dani. “You have to wait two weeks and then you can do it, but you have to literally take your NHS red book to show that your baby’s had all of her jabs. So literally at four months two weeks I took both of my daughters to get their ears pierced – on the first day I possibly could.”
Calling it a form of child cruelty is ridiculous, says Dani – whose baby girls cried “for less than a split second.” Overall, the 32-year-old mum loves the look. “I think it looks very feminine and very sweet on little girls,” she confesses.
So what about the health risks? Ear piercing guns can’t be sterilised, so it’s possible to contract hepatitis or a similar infection from them.
Plus, experts tend to advise that children under the age of eight simply aren’t mature enough to clean their piercing as necessary – especially as very young children will keep touching their ears and possibly infect the area.
But Dani says that piercing a child’s ears when they’re very young is actually the safest option. “Neither of my girls ever had any ear infections. They’re so young at that age that they’re not playing with their ears it’s easy to clean the piercing.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Dani’s been on the receiving end of her fair share of judgemental looks from others.
“I think a couple of people looked at me like, ‘Oh! You’ve got her earrings done already!’ and I just thought ‘It’s got nothing to do with you.’
“I don’t think it’s cruel. It hurts them for a split second but I would never do anything to hurt my daughters like any other parents. But it’s a split second and it’s done. It’s more of a shock actually – they probably don’t actually feel anything.
“If a child has a really big issue with the fact their ears are pierced, simply take the earrings out and let the holes close up. Simple as.
“I don’t know why people get so angry about it – you do whatever you want, I’ll do whatever I want. I don’t ask you to pierce your child’s ears, you can’t ask me not to pierce my child’s.”
[Campaigners Petitioning To Make Piercing Babies’ Ears Illegal - Calling It A Form Of Child Cruelty]
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