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The piercing truth


How young is too young to have a child’s ears pierced?

While that may not be one of the most pressing questions to be asked in this province with all that’s been occupying our minds, it was one that created some controversy among people here in western Newfoundland recently.
Last Saturday, The Western Star published a story that tried to answer the query after a Deer Lake mother received some criticism on Facebook for her post about taking her weeks-old daughter to get her ears pierced. Many who commented were supportive, while others said they’d never force the skin-puncturing procedure on their child at such an early age.
Social media often being the go-to place for unsolicited opinions that it is, there was still merit in seeing this debate play out online.
We spoke with people who both supported the idea, and those who rejected it outright.
We also sought the opinion of a salon owner who recommended children have their ears pierced before they turn one year old — although that solution had more to do with the ease of performing the piercing and, people suppose, business considerations.
The Western Star’s online reader poll asked whether children should be old enough to ask about getting their ears pierced instead of being involuntarily subjected to the procedure. Around 80 per cent of those who responded said kids should be able to make the decision themselves.
The opinion we’ll side with is that of the experts in the field: pediatricians, who should have the best interests of children’s health and well-being in mind. In other words, doctors who often have to speak for infants and children who can’t make the choice for themselves.
Dr. Jarmilla Chrappa outlined enough risks that should make anyone think twice about getting his or her children’s ears pierced before they can speak the word “ear.” Those include choking hazards, anxiety and the pain factor.
A parent’s desire to have this seemingly cosmetic procedure done to their child is understandable, especially when it seems so common or innocuous to mom or dad. But few of us are experts when it comes to children, whether we’re parents or not.
When those who are experts recommend against it, we should listen.
Most parents try to make decisions in the best interest of their children until they’re able to decide for themselves. In this case, the best choice is to wait until that time comes.

While that may not be one of the most pressing questions to be asked in this province with all that’s been occupying our minds, it was one that created some controversy among people here in western Newfoundland recently.
Last Saturday, The Western Star published a story that tried to answer the query after a Deer Lake mother received some criticism on Facebook for her post about taking her weeks-old daughter to get her ears pierced. Many who commented were supportive, while others said they’d never force the skin-puncturing procedure on their child at such an early age.
Social media often being the go-to place for unsolicited opinions that it is, there was still merit in seeing this debate play out online.
We spoke with people who both supported the idea, and those who rejected it outright.
We also sought the opinion of a salon owner who recommended children have their ears pierced before they turn one year old — although that solution had more to do with the ease of performing the piercing and, people suppose, business considerations.
The Western Star’s online reader poll asked whether children should be old enough to ask about getting their ears pierced instead of being involuntarily subjected to the procedure. Around 80 per cent of those who responded said kids should be able to make the decision themselves.
The opinion we’ll side with is that of the experts in the field: pediatricians, who should have the best interests of children’s health and well-being in mind. In other words, doctors who often have to speak for infants and children who can’t make the choice for themselves.
Dr. Jarmilla Chrappa outlined enough risks that should make anyone think twice about getting his or her children’s ears pierced before they can speak the word “ear.” Those include choking hazards, anxiety and the pain factor.
A parent’s desire to have this seemingly cosmetic procedure done to their child is understandable, especially when it seems so common or innocuous to mom or dad. But few of us are experts when it comes to children, whether we’re parents or not.
When those who are experts recommend against it, we should listen.
Most parents try to make decisions in the best interest of their children until they’re able to decide for themselves. In this case, the best choice is to wait until that time comes.

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