What age should children have their ears pierced?

(9 ratings)
Calls to ban ear piercing for babies and toddlers
There's been much debate on how old children should be to get their ears pierced, but how young is too young?

Celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Katie Price and Angelina Jolie have pierced their children's ears at a young age, bringing the debate to the table again and again.

But when it comes to piercing children's ears, how young is actually too young?

Because there is no legal age restriction on most body piercings (although a consent form needs signing for under-16s) the decision is entirely on your shoulders - and many mums and dads struggle to find an age where they feel comfortable saying yes.

According to a 2013 study, seven is the average age for girls to get their ears pierced, but many are getting them done younger and younger - some before they can even walk or talk - and it's an issue that divides parents across the country.

Arguments for ear piercings at a young age often centre on small children being less aware of the pain, and not fiddling with their studs as much during the healing period, while those against say that it should be the child's choice, and they should be old enough to ask for and understand the process - including how to take care of their new appendages themselves.

Ear piercing in the news

In 2015, a petition declared that the process should be made illegal, deeming it 'physically harming' and 'a form of child cruelty'.

'Severe pain and fear is inflicted upon infants unnecessarily,' the campaign's creator, Susan Ingram, wrote on the online poll. '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.'

Those in support of the petition agreed with her sentiments - in the 'reasons for signing' section, one stated: 'smacking a child is abuse, so how come sticking metal rods through their ears is not abuse??!!'

Another commmented, 'Stop parents inflicting unnecessary pain on a child. Claire Accessories are one of the worst offenders for piercing babies and toddlers ears. Make it illegal please.'

In a poll conducted by, parents voted on whether piercing babies and toddlers should indeed be banned, and a massive 75.21% agreed that it should. One user commented: 'I have had my daughters ears pierced when she was just over 2 years old - and I regret doing it, big time'. 23.12%, however, voted against the ban, agreeing that it's up to the parents:

'My daughter has her ears pierced, she didn't cry and I don't see it as a form of abuse but simply tradition just as I had mine and my mum had hers and so on!'

Also in 2015, a scene on Channel 5's 'Blinging Up Baby' featuring a four month old getting her ears pierced caused massive controversy amongst its audience.

Photographer Jerri Lee, mum to one-year-old Milan and four-month-old Valentino, was filmed taking her youngest daughter to a shop to get the new adornments, and the baby was seen squirming and crying in her lap as the procedure was carried out.

Above: Jerri Lee with her eldest daughter Milan, who had her ears pierced at 11 months because she was getting diamond studs for her first birthday.
'I had my ears pierced as a baby. Years ago, everybody had their ears pierced at six weeks old,' Jerri explained to the crew. 'I think the younger the better, they don't have to remember the pain. Five minutes later they've forgotten that they've even had it done.'

However, despite her justification, some viewers strongly disagreed with Jerri's decision.

The celebrities sparking the debate

Katie Price came under fire when she posted a photo of her one-year-old daughter Bunny with her ears pierced.

The mum-of-five defended her decision by saying: 'I'm not going to sit here and justify myself, she looks really cute.' However, the former glamour model also revealed eight-year-old Princess wants to pierce her ears but her father, Peter Andre, does not allow it.

Kim Kardashian was another celebrity causing controversy in the ear piercing debate. When her daughter North, aged just one at the time, was pictured sporting stud earrings, fans were quick to judge the reality TV star for her decision.

Other celebrity kids including Vivian Brady, daughter of model Gisele Bundchen, and Zahara Jolie-Pitt have their ears pierced too (although Zahara, who got her ears pierced aged six, is said to have screamed, and put off her five-year-old sister Shiloh with her reaction!)

Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen's daughter Vivian, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian's daughter North, and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's daughter Zahara all have pierced ears

The decision can even cause opposition between parents in the same family - Atomic Kitten singer Natasha Hamilton reportedly argued with Ritchie Neville, the father of her daughter Ella Rose, about whether or not their little one should have her ears pierced as a baby.

'Personally, I'd rather not have the baby's ears pierced, as it goes... I think she should decide. And if she wants it, that's up to her,' Ritchie explained.

However, Natasha's mum is said to have responded, '[The baby] is having her ears pierced before she is one. It's a family tradition!'

Ritchie Neville and Natasha Hamilton are said to have disagreed over the fate of their daughter Ella's lobes
And it's not just the celebs who can't make up their minds...

What YOU have to say about it

We asked you for your thoughts on ear piercing on our Facebook page, and we got a vast range of opinions...

Anna Sellers: Don't get me started on this subject! Piercing babies ears is Vile, they don't want it or need it and it looks wrong! Why inflict that pain on a baby?! I had mine done when I was 14 and I'm planning on my girls at least being in secondary school. It should be illegal below a certain age, maybe 5/6. Before that age it's the parent who wants to try and make their baby look "pretty" and I just don't think that's fair, apart from the fact it looks incredibly chavvy!'

Rosie Bowers: I had my done at 6 weeks. My daughters were done at 5 months. She is about to turn 10! No harm and as for pain it's the same as giving them injections! Injections may well be more necessary! Shouldn't it be up to the parents preference! I wouldn't call u vile for putting them through that pain at age 8 when to me they are so more aware of the pain!

Gemma Renehan My daughter had hers done for her 8th birthday as I felt she was old enough to decide...I thibk its awful getting babies and toddlers ears pierced and it should be banned!

Kelly Higgs: I dont disagree with anyone having their childrens ears pierced but for me personally i had mine done when i was about 4 and i let me daughter decide when she wanted hers done as its her body so her choice she was 10 when she asked so i took her x

Linzi Coppock: Makes me feel sick seeing babies with ears pierced. I don't have a girl so probably won't deal with this but I had mine done aged 9 I think, and I knew what the deal was then.

Stella Davies Both my girls had it done at 6 months old,do it when they dont know whats happening and they are not touching them all the time,like a older child would.get it down out of the way.

Ruth Akers: Im a beautician that does ear piercing and ud be amazed at the ages some people get their kids done I hate it but if parents allow it what can u do?? I personally think the child has to be big enough to ask and when they ask old enough to understand it hurts and they need cleaning and looking after. Another good tip if your little one is wanting it done is wait till beginning of 6 weeks holidays then they've got all summer to heal b4 going to school and having to tape up or take out for pe and other kids pulling them.


Whilst there's no legal cut-off age for ear piercing, many of you felt that there was such a thing as too much too young!

Denise Ashton-Simpson: I had both my girls ears done when they were 1 neither 1 regret that I made that choice for them. In fact over the years they then had them pierced several times. My grand daughter was nearly 3 she asked for ear rings & still loves them!!!

Joanne Bird: My eight and seven year old girls refuse to have theirs done,... Might have something to do with me telling them it's blumming painful and if their not cleaned properly they go manky

Rebecca Angela Lewis: I had mine done at two and screamed the place down, now I don't wear earrings but have two horrible holes! I would allow my daughter when she was old enough to ask and understand the care in having them done.

Lorna Coll: If they can ask, they can. I was young, but old enough to ask. My mum was completely honest with me and told me it would hurt a lot but I insisted I wanted them done so I could be like her.
I won't lie....I had to really hold back the tears haha

Hazel Rea: When my daughter was 11 a lot of her friends were getting their ears pierced and she wanted to have hers done. We told her if she waited until she was 16 we would buy her a pair of diamond studs for her 16th birthday - she waited and we did.

Continued below...

So - would YOU let your child get their ears pierced at a young age? Let us know in the comment section below!

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I took both of my daughter's to have their ears pierced both of them have a birthday coming up one about to be 6 my other about to be 3. My youngest didn't cry nor did I have to hold her down and my oldest did cry and was anxious but she loves them. Our laws state that if a child says no to the piercing then legally they cannot do it. So in my opinion a child should be old enough to say no or if they show any resistance then it shouldn't be completed but it doesn't bother me to see a toddler with their ears pierced if they aren't kicking and screaming when it's done. The pain literally last a couple minutes after my oldest was crying she was showing them off a few minutes later I don't believe ear piercing is traumatic and if your child will sit there willingly I see nothing wrong w it.also me and dad agree on the subject!

Charles Faulkner

The only person who should have a choice as to whether to modify a child's body, is the child themselves, when they're old enough to say so. Injections are one thing, they don't leave a permanent scar. Having someone fire an earring through your ear lobe hurts like ****, and I speak from experience of having both done as an adult! Its your child's body, not yours, let them choose.


Let them decide for themselves!


No one should be forced to have their ears or anything pierced. Parents have no right to make the decision for someone who is too young to make an informed decision as to whether they even want one. The answer to the question of "How young can I have my child's ears pierced" is simple: When they are old enough to say Yes or No with informed consent or denial. Most piercings are stupid and unnecessary, in my opinion, but if you're going to do it you need to be able to comprehend that most piercings, even ears, are forever. If you understand that and are willing to do it anyway, then OK, it's your body. A toddler, a 4-year-old, even a 9-year-old is too young to understand these things. And parents should never make such a body-altering decision for them. This also goes for tattoos. I've actually seen idiots advocating for parents to get their kids tattooed! Insanity.


I had mine done when I was a seven months old, and apparently I barely cried. I got them double pierced when I was twelve. I personally believe that it should be up to the parent when to get their kid's ears pierced- if they don't like it later in life, they can easily choose not to wear them. No big deal, IMHO.

Jessica Gabrielle

My mother had my ears pierced as an infant, partly from tradition but mostly so people could tell me apart from my twin brother. I rarely ever wear earrings now as the piercings were done too high on my ear lobes making earrings uncomfortable to wear for prolonged periods. And no matter how long I go without wearing earrings the holes never close up. However, having said that, I'm grateful she got them done for me at such a young age, I do like to wear earrings on special occasions but wouldn't have wanted to go thru with getting them pierced myself. I'm pregnant with my first child, a little girl, and it's something I'm struggling with, my mother and sister urge me to carry on the tradition but I rather like the idea of letting her choose.


I wasn't allowed my ears pierced til I was a teenager and mum felt it was my choice as its my body, I now have a daughter at 8 and although she's a bit of a tomboy (like myself) I would never force her into anything she didn't want, especially with her body... If she ever wanted them done I would take her - but its up to HER! I had my ears pierced quite a few times so I had one hoop and little studs going all the way up my ear, thought I looked really "cool" but now as I'm 30 - I can't be arsed with earrings, getting caught in long hair, scarf's etc they just bug me, only time I'll be wearing earrings is a special occasion or my wedding day. So my daughter follows my lead she's not vain in the slightest she makes sure she chooses comfort over style! Like mother like daughter


Chavvy, ugly, shows the intelligence level of the parent as nil! Total parental vanity.


It's a horrible thing to have done with your little child. They have enough little things to deal with, without having that pain inflected on them.


Wait until their 16 / 18. It's just like getting a tattoo ! Would these parents let their child have one of these, I don't think so , though I could be wrong ????

Sylvia jones

Why do these parents do this to there children. Do they not remember when they were at school. It is really easy for a child's ear piercing to get pulled on, possibly wrapping there ear. All children play and should be allowed to surely safety must take priority over vanity, because this is all it is. I remember having my ears pierced as an adult,

Linda pollock

I would never have dreamed of getting my daughter's ears pierced. She's now 26 and has never had them done and never will.


I think there should be a ban on children under 10 having piercings. What is the point of it anyway?


It was actually distressing to watch. Yes it looks pretty but how about the safety aspect of it also. Baby could lean on them and find them uncomfortable. So sad all so she can look good for her moms own selfish gratification.


I had both my girls ears pierced at 1 year old. I only allow my girls to wear stud earrings - nothing worse than seeing big dangly earrings on young kids though!! (I'm my opinion) I personally don't see a problem with it. Each to there own. There are lots of things parent will agree/disagree with which is their opinion.


When they are old enough to make that decision for themselves. No person should be allowed to decide for someone else to put holes in their body. I have friends now in their 30's who don't have ears pierced and they don't want to. If their parents has done this as a child it would have taken away their choice. A parent getting their childs ears pierced as a child is irresponsible.


9 months. She hardly stirred.

nanny knowsbest

I had mine done when I was 7 & my girl's were also 7 & had them done the first day of the summer holidays to give them 6 weeks to heal, ready for school, they both understood you couldn't play with them & if you had to touch them you washed uour hands first.

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