As we open back up to offering earlobe piercing services for children aged 6 – 14, we wanted to bring up some points that we noticed through the summer need to be mentioned prior to booking appointments for your kids.  COVID 19 has been stressful for all of us, and we’re putting this information out there in hopes of helping you as a parent to think about whether it’s a good fit for your child to deal with getting earlobe piercings during the pandemic.  Piercings require care and thoughtfulness in the best of times to heal successfully, and we are obviously dealing with many factors in life that are NOT normal.

First, healing any injury, including a piercing is an extra tax on the immune system.  Coming into cold and flu season on top of COVID 19, this should be considered.  If your child has any other immunity challenges, know that healing piercings for the next few months just adds to that pile.  Also, in the interest of protecting ourselves and our partners at Think Tank South, please do not bring your child in for an appointment if they have any symptoms of a cold, flu or COVID 19.  If you or they sneeze or cough during their visit, we will end the procedure immediately.  We have the health and livelihoods of 14 employees to safeguard here at the shop.

Next, consider the healing time that simple earlobe piercings require.  The average healing time for earlobes is two to three months.  Some bodies are more resistant to accepting an earring in a new piercing and the healing can be longer.  If your family has any holiday vacation plans, you should factor this in for responsibility of aftercare while traveling, and this means for example, your kids can’t swim in the ocean or any dirty water either. This means no ocean, lakes, rivers, creeks, hot springs or hot tubs. Submerging an unhealed piercing in dirty water is almost guaranteeing a dangerous infection.

The biggest challenge we saw from piercing kids’ ears through the past year is the issue of wearing masks.  The back of an earring exits the ear right where the ear loops on masks rest against the ear.  This can highly increase the risk of snagging the jewelry and perhaps losing the back of the earring.  If masks aren’t disposable or washed daily for the reuseable kind, there will be an increase of risk for infection as well.  Each child is different, so we encourage you to think about how well your child has adapted to the practice of not only wearing a mask, but how much they adjust the fit and placement while it’s on.  Will they be donning and doffing the mask numerous times through the day? Are they at home all day with no mask? How well are they doing with sanitizing or washing their hands before donning or doffing the mask?  All of this behavior is tricky even for adults to adjust to, but smaller ears on kids and their potential to handle the area with unclean hands must be considered.  Due to the large increase of lost earring backs through the summer from mask/earring accidents, we are no longer able to offer free replacement backs through the healing process.  Titanium earring backs will be available for $1.50 each.

As we come into the warmer months of the year, it’s also worth mentioning the issue of wearing hats or bike helmets over newly pierced ears.  If the hat is clean, you should still think of the risk of snagging an earring on knit material or helmet straps. 

Those are the main things we encourage you to consider before booking an appointment.  In the realm of basic information, we remind you that we will only accept appointments for children aged 6 – 9 at either noon or at 7:30 PM.  Even with extended appointment times, if your child has a bit of a panic and needs time to be soothed before continuing, we can’t afford to delay a whole day’s worth of other appointment times.  We don’t like it either, but health department regulations have us on a very tight schedule every day, and our ability to serve our normal volume of clientele is drastically limited.

To prepare your child for what to expect, first, let them know that we will have masks on too, and Brian works with a face shield also.  Our appearance in all the PPE might make us look a little more intimidating. With all of our own protective equipment on, we definitely can’t bite them!  For questions of, “is it going to hurt?”, you can let them know that yes, it feels like a quick pinch and hurts a little bit, but it’s easier than getting a shot at the doctor’s office.  The sensation is very brief, and they’ll be smiling before they know it.  You can also tell them it hurts less than getting pierced with a piercing gun if they’ve had prior experience with that. They will have to take care of their new piercings twice a day for about ten minutes each time for the entire time they heal, so they have a job to do.  And they can’t touch their new ear piercings unless they just washed their hands.  Some kids are great at leaving things alone, and others can’t keep themselves from fiddling with their new piercings all the time.  It’s a good idea to talk with your child about the new responsibilities they are taking on.  If they want to keep their piercings open, they do need to wear earrings 24/7 for three to four YEARS.  It takes a lot longer than people assume before piercings are strong enough to take them out for a day and not risk the piercing closing up.

We hope this helps bring to light some things to think about in considering whether this is the right time for you to allow your child to get their ears pierced.  If you’re still on board, we’ll do everything we can to support you and your child through the process of not only piercing, but the healing time as well.  If you have any further questions, please call the shop or email me here through the website.

Brian at Sage Piercing