Get Your Kid's Ears Pierced At A Tattoo Shop Because They Know What They're Doing

I got my ears pierced when I was 10. My aunt took me to Claire's at the mall, where I browsed a display of birthstone earrings, picked out a sparkly crystal pair, and then sat in a chair and hugged the giant comfort bear as a young employee aimed at my lobes with a piercing gun. Thirty seconds later, I had pierced ears!

Three days after that, I had crusty green stuff coming out of said pierced ears, and it sucked.

Photo: Body Electric Tattoo/Instagram

Fortunately, for the piercees of today, the warning has been made clear: Don't get a hole put in your body by some teenager at a shopping centre, for chrissakes.

Piercing guns are bad news. You're puncturing the skin by blunt force, which can cause excess scar tissue and lead to an infection. The Association of Professional Piercers (APP) describes the effect as "more like a crush injury than a piercing". Guns are also not sterile, and the people operating them likely lack adequate training — the certification process might consist of a seminar, or even a video, and some target practise with a piece of cardboard or a teddy bear.

For a safe and hygienic piercing experience, you'll need a very sharp, hollow needle and a professional who really knows what they're doing. You can find both at a tattoo and piercing parlour.

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If you're nervous about bringing Little Ella into a place called Big Daddy's where there's skull art on walls and spikes on foreheads, don't be. There's actually a growing movement of piercers advocating for parents to pierce their kids' ears (or other parts) at tattoo shops instead of shopping centres. The Instagram photos are pretty amazing. Brian Keith Thompson, owner of Body Electric Tattoo in Los Angeles, regularly posts pictures of his youngest clients.

An oldie but goodie. #2013 #BodyElectricTattoo #BrianKeithThompson

A post shared by Brian Keith Thompson (@bodyelectrictattoo) on

Here's a video of the process:

Good piercing parlours are exceptionally clean. Set-ups are sterilised by autoclaves — devices used in the medical industry to kill microorganisms and spores through high heat and pressure. The needle, which makes a clean cut for quick healing, is thrown away after it's used.

And piercers often have extensive training. Writes CafeMom: "Piercing artists undergo often one year or more of internships, take bloodborne pathogen courses, often take CPR just in case of a medical emergency with a client, have to learn about aftercare, potential medical problems, and proper jewellery choices for each piercing type, and have to watch procedures many times before being very closely monitored while learning to perform them."

To find a reputable shop, read reviews, and call ahead to make sure it welcomes children.


Comments

    And if you're lucky, it might put your kid off ever getting shitty tattoos or ridiculous body modifications.

      cmon negative downvoters, he said "shitty" tattoos, Not 'all tattoos are bad'. and he said 'ridiculous' body mods, not 'all body mods'

      im with you Zak

    I'm guessing the tattoo market is reaching saturation point and they're now looking for ways to keep income coming in.

    Except in Australia there is no regulations around body piercing. Anybody can do it and there isn't any formal qualifications for it either. This means any old hack can just start up a business if they want to with no skills.

    The additional problem for Australia is that everybody is a fucking tight-arse. Nobody want to pay a piercer good money because you can get it done at some hack shop for $20. Good jewelry also costs money too but there is loads of false information around that one and wonderful buzz words like 'surgical steel' and such.

      I totally agree, but I will say that even with Australia's shit piercing regulations it's still possible to find APP certified, well trained professional piercers, If you know anyone who lives in the Sydney or Perth regions I know of the Studios, Stone Heart (Sydney) and Opal Heart (Perth) both of which have piercers with APP certifications, I used to be really hesitant about getting piercings when I was younger as I'd had some less that great experiences with piercings healing, when I came across these guys I was blown awy by how fantastic they were, and have never gone anywhere else since.
      I agree that in a country like our where the regulations are shite, it can be difficult to find good piercers, but if people a willing to put in the time and research into finding good piercers then that is half the battle their, all it takes is calling a studio, asking what certification they have, looking at their portfolios, making sure they have both healed and new piercings, look at testimonials, find out what quality of jewelry they use, and yeah... pay what the piercing is actually worth... Australian an be pretty terrible at that.

    just had my 4 year old daughters ears pierced about 2 months ago. she had two technicians at an essential beauty store do it at the same time.
    they did use guns and pulled the trigger at the same time.
    she cried, it broke my heart a little (we had made sure that she wanted it done numerous times, but the look on her poor little face....) but, she loves that her ears are pierced now, they didnt get infected, we sprayed them twice a day, every day for 4 weeks and all is good.

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