‘I’m an allergy doctor – this is why I’d NEVER pierce my young children’s ears and ban SHOES’

A doctor cautions against piercing infants’ ears due to infection risks and potential allergies. She suggests waiting until children can care for them.
A doctor cautions against piercing infants' ears due to infection risks and potential allergies. She suggests waiting until children can care for them.
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Following the row between Kerry Katona and Lucy Beaumont, the comedian who claimed it should be “illegal” to pierce a baby’s ears, an allergy doctor has spoken up.

The medical professional is warning parents why they shouldn’t get infants’ ears pierced.

Dr Tania Elliot, from New York, is a board-certified physician of 15 years, as well as a mum-of-two.

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She often uses her Instagram to share advice on health and parenting advice, where she has over 96,000 followers.

In a recent viral video, she talks about ear piercing – and how this could have long-term consequences if done when children are very young.

Dr Elliott warns that this could lead to infection or developing a nickel allergy.

There is currently no legal age restriction for ear piercing in the UK or US, but a legal guardian must be present if the person is under 18.

“Piercing your child’s ears when they’re infants can lead to bacterial infections requiring antibiotics, abscesses, and damage to the ear tissue and cartilage when done incorrectly, Dr Elliott told Need To Know.

A doctor cautions against piercing infants' ears due to infection risks and potential allergies. She suggests waiting until children can care for them.
Dr Tania Elliot. (Picture: Jam Press)

“Especially, with certain commonly used devices and when the right sanitisation protocols are not followed.

“It can happen at any age but young infants with a developing immune system are most prone.

“Ear piercing is [also] one the most common causes of nickel allergy, which can lead to skin rashes.

“While babies’ immune systems are developing and the skin is pierced, the body mounts an immune response.

“The next time it is exposed to anything containing nickel, an allergic reaction can happen.

“It’s safe to pierce your child’s ears when they are old enough to care for them to prevent infection and understand not to touch the ears or pick at them while they are healing, and with the use of nickel-free devices and jewellery.”

As for the perfect age?

Dr Elliott says it’s okay for children aged seven upwards – and it’s a rule she follows herself.

The mum has two kids, aged 10 and 12 and was very careful with choosing the beauty practitioner and earrings.

She said: “We reviewed how to responsibly care for the earrings and I was there to sanitize them twice a day.

“We went to a place that uses nurses and hand-pressurized devices.

“If you do pierce your child’s ears, consider a needle or hand-pressurized device versus a piercing gun, when you have no control over the pressure of the device and it can lead to cartilage damage.

“I also recommend having it done by a medical professional such as a nurse who is trained in safe cleaning and sanitizing practices to reduce infection risk.

“We also chose jewellery that was 18K gold so contained no nickel.”

Aside from jewellery, nickel can be found in belt buckles, some toys and even foods like soy, chocolate, nuts and canned goods.

In addition to her piercing advice, Dr Elliott says she has another rule, which is a more common one: no shoes in the house.

This isn’t just to avoid dirt in the house but to minimise the risk of dangerous bacteria sneaking its way inside.

She added: “They carry all kinds of grime, viruses, and bacteria on them.

“Keep your home a shoe-free zone.”

Her video has nearly 10,000 likes, however, some users have slammed the doctor for not considering cultural differences.

“I would not want to pierce my child’s ears because I want them to decide on their own,” added someone else.

Social media comment on the post of A doctor cautions against piercing infants' ears due to infection risks and potential allergies. She suggests waiting until children can care for them.
Social media comment on the post. (Picture: Jam Press)

Deb asked for more information, saying: “Dr, why do you not want them to wear shoes in the house.”

Another person shared their own experience, adding: “My mum delayed my ears getting pierced until I was in primary and I do have reactions to any earrings with the memory of it getting it done along with needle fear and trauma. Stress is worse sometimes. I refused to do the same and got my girls all done asap from birth.”

Jewharra said: “That’s what happens when people pierce their babies with cheap jewelry.”

Social media comment on the post of A doctor cautions against piercing infants' ears due to infection risks and potential allergies. She suggests waiting until children can care for them.
Social media comment on the post. (Picture: Jam Press)

Alicia said: “Cuban girls get their ears pierced very young. Nowadays after shots, but when I was born in 1958, it was probably at about 6 weeks. Have never heard of a problem from it. Why do you recommend against it?”

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