Should baby ear piercing be banned?Statistics show that 83% of people have their ears pierced and the average age for children getting their ear pierced is 7 years old in the UK. Ear piercing is one of the oldest embodiments of body modification with recorded sources from cultures all around the globe dating back to in time. Bronze, silver and gold hoop earrings were common in the Bronze Age and Minoan civilization (2000-1600BCE). However for many years now there have been many surveys and signed petitions regarding whether or not baby ear piercing should be banned even though it is a tradition in many cultures.
In the UK more than 80,000 people signed a petition to ban baby ear piercing. But there are many people who believe it’s a form of child abuse and that the baby’s should have their own say in whether their ears are pierced.It is my belief that ear piercing is part of many cultures.
From India, the Middle East to areas of Africa and Latin America. Latin America is popular for many things. In Spain it is traditional to get a baby girls ear pierced. They don’t dress the babies with blue or pink to recognise their genders, instead they pierce the ears of the baby girls. It can be done minutes after they are born to a number of weeks later. This is regarded a symbol of female beauty. In India, Karnavedha is the tradition of ear piercing and is one of the most significant religious ceremonies or Hindu samskaras carried out for a child. The Karnavedha usually happens 3-5 years after the child has come into the world. Occasionally the piercing of the child’s ear happens before the child is one year old. Karnavedha is a Vedic ritual of progress. In India, ear piercing is pretty common between men and women. For little girls their left ear is usually pierced first and for little boys their right ear is generally pierced first. The people believe that if they do this practise it will assist unlocking the child’s inner ears so that they can acquire the blessed sounds. It is believed that hearing these holy sounds will help them to cleanse their sins and will keep their souls safe. So we realise that ear piercing is a part of many cultures and religions around the world.No responsible parent would ever want their child to experience agony. It’s difficult enough seeing a baby getting an injection and crying. Surely then, making a child endure agony because of fashion is brutal. Ear piercing is generally carried out with a needle, which is the old fashioned procedure. It can also be carried out the modern way using a piercing gun. Both methods cause affliction to the baby. A petition for banning baby ear piercing was posted on the 38 Degrees campaigning website by Susan Ingram who claims it’s a form of child cruelty in which severe pain is and fear is inflicted upon children unnecessarily. The campaign requests that the Minister for Children, Edward Timpson MP, make ear piercing illegal for toddlers and babies and that a minimum legal age requirement be set. This petition received around 30,000 signatures, suggesting that there are many parents who recognise that ear piercing is a type of child brutality. It causes severe and unnecessary pain to infants and has no other purpose than to please the parent’s vanity.It is believed that getting a baby’s ears pierced at an early age causes less irritation than it would if they were older. When the piercing takes place it is so fast that they will swiftly move on and will immediately forget about it. No responsible parent would want their child to experience affliction at any time, but the best choice is to get their ear pierced when they are children so that they don’t remember it .Parents have a right to make this decision for their baby as the babies are too young to make choices for themselves. If they dislike the piercing when they’ve grown up a bit they can just remove the earring. It’s not only popular in trends. Many cultures wear earrings for religious reasons. An earring isn’t permanent and can recover immediately when the piercing is taken off. If the child is below the age of 16 and wants a piercing they still require parents’ permission as the parents are responsible. So if a baby does get a piercing and don’t want it when they are older they can easily remove it without any hassle. However, ear piercing can lead to infections .The most common reason for pierced ear infections is the development of germs that can be found on top of the skin and inside the piercing area. This can be caused by unsterile apparatus which is used in the course of the piercing or if the ear piercing is not sanitized frequently at home. A baby’s can recover itself from the piercing but sometimes it ends up over healing itself which leads to keloids. Keloids are when improper tissues are formed in the area of an injury or scar. This usually requires therapeutic or surgical treatment. Sometimes a baby can also have an allergic reaction due to the type of metal in the earring. If the earring is made from nickel, this usually causes an infection. If the earrings are loose, the baby can be at risk of choking hazards because of the insecure earrings. The little pieces of the earrings can also go into the child’s ear and can be difficult to remove. This becomes an even more significant issue when babies wear dangly’ or hoop earrings as there is a chance that the baby might yank it out or it could get caught while the baby is playing. This could result in the baby’s ear lobe ripping apart. A case report in the Paediatrics & Therapeutics journal conveyed that ordinary ear piercing contaminations develop in to vital infections caused by staphylococcus and Pseudomonas affecting up to 35% of persons. So baby ear piercing should be avoided as the baby can be left with serious infections.I believe that we cannot give businesses in shopping centres responsibility over baby’s health. The equipment commonly used at the shopping centres is piercing guns. These are speedy and low-cost but can be a risk to your health. Dr Julia Tzu, who is a dermatologist and the originator of Wall Street Dermatology in New York states: From a medical standpoint, any object that is purposely introduced through skin should be sterile to decrease the probability of infection. Many stores at shopping centres proclaim that they disinfect their equipment before using. But, adequately sanitizing a piercing gun cannot be done. Sterilizing kills all the germs whereas disinfection only lowers the number of germs. According to John Joyce who is a skilled piercer with 18 years of involvement and the holder of Scarab Body Arts in Syracuse, New York says piercing guns cannot be sterilized because they are made of plastic. The plastic would melt in an autoclave, which is what we used to sterilize instruments like needles, jewellery and any tools we might use during piercing. So if you want your baby’s ears pierced it is best going to a respected piercing studio where the piercing is done with a needle and experienced people. I think that shopping centre stores such as Claire’s have not been trained properly to do ear piercing and thus should not partake in this process.To conclude, I think that baby ear piercing should be banned. It should be considered child cruelty as it required children to experience pain for no reason, as stated by the 38 Degrees Campaign. Additionally it doesn’t add value to anything other than to give momentary pleasure to parents. In my opinion babies should be able to grow up and have their own say in whether or not they want their ears pierced. I also think that babies should be able to express themselves as they get older rather than their parents piercing their ears on their behalf.