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Health Tip: Getting a Child's Ears Pierced

Tips to prevent infection

(HealthDay News) -- Your daughter wants her ears pierced. If the procedure is performed carefully and cared for conscientiously, there is little risk, regardless of the child's age.

However, as a general guideline, you should consider postponing the piercing until your child is mature enough to take care of the pierced site, the American Academy of Pediatrics says.

The actual procedure should be performed by a doctor, nurse, or experienced technician, the academy advises.

A round, gold-post earring should be inserted, preferably by the piercing instrument. The gold in the post will reduce the risk of an allergic reaction and inflammation.

After the piercing, apply rubbing alcohol or an antibiotic ointment to the area two times a day for a few days. This will minimize the chances of infection and hasten the healing process. The earring should not be removed for four to six weeks, but should be gently rotated each day.

If the area becomes red or tender, an infection may be developing, and you should seek medical attention promptly.

Consumer News