Q&A: Ear Piercing


The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends having piercing procedures done by a doctor, nurse or experienced technician. Click on the photo to listen to their recommendation on the best way to avoid infection after ear piercing.

Ear piercing … many girls around my daughters age are having them done and now she’s begging to have her ears pierced too. Any recommendations on where to have ears pierced – or advice on earrings or care?

  • Jannell Drennen recommends, “You can go to the mall and have it done. I took my daughter to Walmart to have hers done… Walmart does have free ear piercing with the purchase of studs. It is always best to go with gold or sterling silver earrings.  The store will give you the information on how to care for your piercings, as well as some solution to clean them with.”
  • Jennifer Leveille LaValley recommends, “Claire’s does free ear-piercing … Age is your decision… I’ve been doing it for almost 11 years and I’ve pierced from 3 months up to 96 years old and I’ve seen it all. Some parents make there kids wait until [their t(w)eens], other parents are free and don’t care….some cultures want babies pierced after birth so you think about it long and hard and discuss all the pros and cons that come with piercing before jumping in. It’s a commitment not just an ear piercing.”
  • Barb Peaslee Snow recommends, “Piercing Pagoda is where I took my daughter. They have a large selection of earrings to choose from and the piercing is free.”
  • Gayle White recommends, “I would recommend going to a piercing place such as in Haven Body Arts in Northampton. My daughter is 16 and has had a number of piercings done, Penelope knows her stuff (she used to be at Lucky’s). You have no idea what is in those guns used at the mall, yuck!!”
  • Myssie Casintagna recommends, “I would absolutely take your daughter to a professional piercer, as Gayle suggested above. The guns they use at the malls can be traumatizing to the tissue and hard to keep sterile (as is the environment of a store).  Some doctors will pierce ears as well.  I encourage you to at the very least, call a piercing professional and talk with them. There are many in our area.”
  • Julie Rodrigues Tanguay recommends, “Definitely check with your pediatrician’s office- they may do it, ours does.”
  • Jennifer Leveille LaValley replies, “Most doctors do not pierce ears these days. Our doctor came to Claire’s and I pierced his daughter’s ears. In terms of body piercing shops, yes, that is the best way to do piercings. I agree. But a lot of them will not pierce children, so you are limited to a so called “gun.” However, different places use different instruments.  Some are an actual gun … but not all systems are the same.”
  • Tonya Lemos recommends, “I fully agree with Gayle. Piercers such as those at Lucky’s in Northampton are trained in piercing often from the tribal approach! Who knows about those at Claire’s or Walmart! We had Jeremy and he was fabulous with my six year old- communicated well and had a good bedside manner. They also have a simple and effective aftercare procedure that a child can handle. I highly recommend Lucky’s!”
  • Kate Erickson recommends, “Rather than the malls, whom I don’t trust, when my daughters get to that point I plan on taking them to Lucky’s in Northampton-professional piercers.”
  • Anita Morehouse recommends, “Haven Body Arts or Lucky’s in Northampton.”
  • Holly Rowe Charette recommends, “We had out girls ears done young, so we had no choice but hit up the mall. Luckily, Claire’s did a great job and we had no issues. I have had many many peircings, but for some reason the needle through my ears even creeps me out.”
  • Marya Kozik LaRoche recommends, “Doctors will do it.”
  • Lee Bingham recommends, “Penelope at Haven Body Arts in Northampton has lots of experience with kiddos. She did my friends’ son’s ear beautifully. Do NOT go to anyplace that uses piercing guns EVER!!!”
  • Robin Morgan Huntley recommends, “I’m not a mom but I definitely agree about Haven- it’s the cleanest, friendliest, and most professional piercing place I’ve ever been to.”
  • Sienna Wildfield recommend, “I took my 10yr to Penelope at Haven Body Arts in Northampton. Great professional experience done perfectly. Worth the extra expense over a gun piercing at the mall. My daughter had a friend go with her who had mall-based gun-piercing, only to have them come out crooked.”

[Photo credit: (ccl) Loren Kerns]

4 Comments on “Q&A: Ear Piercing

  1. We took the advice to go to a professional piercing parlor… this on the heels of my daughter’s BFF going to the mall only to have them uneven and had to take them out to heal over. – We went to Haven Body Arts in Northampton where Penelope did the piercing. She was very patient and they healed beautifully. – One bit of additional advice I would offer: wait for the winter months to do piercings. This avoids possibilities of infection that come with swimming and warmer weather.

  2. Talk to a professional piercer before going to someone at the mall! They will explain the difference! Having had my ears pierced with a ‘gun’ at the mall, and then again years later by a professional piercer, I would strongly recommend going to the piercer! No comparison – the aftercare was MUCH easier. When I took my daughter to Lucky’s I had to have a copy of my ID and her birth certificate to show that I was her parent. My daughter needs several adults to hold her down for blood draws but the staff at Lucky’s are amazing and she didn’t even whimper!

  3. As a former “mall piercer”, let me explain how the gun works. The earrings themselves are what actually do the piercing, and they come to the store already loaded into plastic cartridges and sealed in boxes, so it’s all sterile. The gun itself is always wiped down, but it never actually comes in contact with the ear. The process is much quicker and less painful than piercing with a needle and then threading an earring into the hole. Choose a place you feel comfortable with and try to get a more mature employee…ask for the manager perhaps. Most complaints stem from the location of the piercing rather than anything else, so either mark the ears yourself or check out the placement dots thoroughly before the piercing is done. And please, don’t lie to your child that it won’t hurt. It’s a very fast sharp pinch, like a bee sting except it doesn’t hurt after it’s done.

  4. I am with Gayle, professional piecers such as Penelope (whom I had piercings by) at places like that and Lucky’s. I wouldn’t trust those girls with the guns at malls!

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