Getting your baby girl's ears pierced? Keep these do's and don'ts in mind
Dr Saloni Katoch, Consultant Dermatologist at the Columbia Asia Hospital in Bangalore lists the things to keep in mind while getting piercing done.
If you have a baby girl, you might have already thought about getting her ears pierced. While many elders might have told you to get your baby's ears pierced as soon as you can, let me tell you that there's no hurry to do so.
"While it actually is a parent's personal choice, the American Academy of Paediatrics says that seven and eight years is actually the right time to get your baby's ears pierced as the child's immune system is fully developed by then," says Dr Saloni Katoch, Consultant Dermatologist at the Columbia Asia Hospital in Whitefield, Bangalore.
The ideal age
Dr Katoch also adds that while Indian parents are normally in a hurry to get their baby's ears pierced as soon as they can, they should at least wait for a good six months to do so.
"I would say that six months is the ideal time as that's when tetanus and other important immunisations for a baby are done, which means that there are lower chances of developing an infection," says Dr Katoch.
There's also an old practice of getting the baby's ears pierced by a family goldsmith or anyone who claims to be a trained ear piercing professional of your area. But that's not how it should be, says Dr Katoch.
Dr Katoch emphasises on the fact the piercing should only be done by a doctor, or a surgeon, or a dermatologist as they would follow all the necessary precautions to make sure that the process is conducted in a hygienic, sterile environment.
"Dermatologists and paediatricians would follow all the guidelines, would wear gloves, wash hands, use sterile equipment etc, which is something these local people do not follow. This is why I would recommend that only if you have no access to a dermatologist or a surgeon, should you go to a local piercing professional," she adds.
Do's and Don'ts to be followed
Once you get the baby's ears pierced, there are many precautions that you must take so that there is no infection at the site. Dr Katoch lists some don's and don't's that must be adhered to while getting you baby's ears pierced.
- Make sure the piercing is clean. Wash your hands and clean the area twice daily with an antibacterial solution using sterile cotton wool.
- Apply the antiseptic lotion provided by the dermatologist for a minimum two weeks to minimise the chances of an infection.
- Most people also want to change the baby's earrings once the piercing area is healed. However, they must wait for a good six to eight weeks before changing the earrings. This is because the ear walls take that much time to heal.
- Avoid nickel-based earrings to avoid an allergy and it is advisable for the baby to wear surgical stainless steel earrings. You can also go for platinum or titanium earrings or even 14 -18 carat gold earrings after the piercing is about two months old.
- Keep checking the piercing for any infection or discharge and show the doctor immediately if the ear is swollen.
- Do not touch the piercing with dirty hands.
- Gently rotate the earring on each ear to make sure that the piercing is clean and has no deposit.
- Never take a baby to a local piercing professional in case the baby is less than a year old. Otherwise also always go to a dermatologist or a doctor.
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