Whether or not parents should be allowed to pierce their child’s ears is always widely debated – some people are very against it while others don’t seem the harm.
But one woman is doing her level best to make it illegal, slamming it as an act of “child cruelty.”
Campaigner Susan Ingram has started a petition on 38 Degrees to try to gather enough signatures for minister for children Edward Timpson to take notice of what she’s trying to achieve.
Ingram hopes to stop parents having the right to pierce their baby or toddler’s ear and wants there to be a minimum legal age requirement in place.
“It is a form of child cruelty,” she writes on the campaign profile. “Severe pain and fear is inflicted upon infants unnecessarily. It serves no purpose other than to satisfy the parent's vanity. Other forms of physically harming children are illegal- this should be no different.”
Clearly Ingram’s not the only adult with this viewpoint, as the petition has already gathered 26, 219 signatures and plenty of supportive comments.
“This is something I, as a parent, decided that it was up to my children, not me, to decide if they wanted to have pierced ears. To me it is an assault to have this done when a child is too young to even speak, or make this kind of decision,” wrote Janine H.
John H wrote, “I don't understand how an adult could inflict such cruelty on a helpless child.”
Another parent doesn’t think it’s an act of cruelty but does think earrings on young children is tacky.
“A child is not a fashion accessory or a Xmas tree. There's the obvious discomfort if an unaware parent uses cheap earrings on a child's delicate skin/or worse, the child is wearing hoops - which could cause injury by catching on clothing, etc. It does no harm to wait until the child is old enough to express an opinion,” says L.K.
There was outrage when Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s daughter flaunted her newly pierced ears on her first birthday. The tot, who’s now almost two, was gifted a pair of $50K diamond studs to mark the occasion – despite many fans and celebrity parents expressing their outrage at North’s young age.
Yet Kimye did have some support, with a handful of parents noting that they had their child's ears pierced at a young age.
Gisele Bundchen also caused a stir when she posted an Instagram snapshot of her then eight-month-old daughter's pierced ears. While some labelled the Brazillian-born model 'cruel', for most Latina mothers it's simply a cultural tradition.
Aside from the moral argument against piercing a baby or toddler’s ears, there are some health risks.
Ear piercing guns can’t be sterilised, so it’s possible to contract hepatitis or a similar infection from them. Plus, experts tend to advise that children under the age of eight simply aren’t mature enough to clean their piercing as necessary – especially as very young children will keep touching their ears and possibly infect the area.
There’s also the risk of an allergic reaction to metals that earrings are made from. If you’ve made up your mind that you would like to get your tot’s ears pierced, the safest option is to invest in an earring that’s made of surgical steel or 14 karat gold.
Do you think parents should be allowed to pierce their baby or toddler’s ears? Let us know in the comments.
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