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My DD is ready to get her ears peirced...

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

How on earth does one go about finding a good place to get it done?

 

I would like to have her ears pierced by a professional body piercer, rather than by some clerk with a piercing gun. But I have no personal experience with body piercing, tattoo shops, etc... so I have no idea how to even begin to find a good one.

 

Any ideas?

 

We are in St.Petersburg,  Florida, just in case anybody can make a local recommendation.

post #2 of 16

I would call around to some of the higher end tat places. 

post #3 of 16

i don't know if this is still done in the u.s., but when i was little, my pediatrician pierced my ears. i think dermatologists will do it too, sometimes.

 

half a year ago, i had my daughter's ear's pierced when she was a few months old and it was done by a nurse-midwife at the local clinic. she did a great job and i was relieved it was done professionally and in a super clean place.

post #4 of 16

Just look for local, well reviewed piercing/tattoo parlors. It will be expensive, but it is worth it.

post #5 of 16

no tattoo parlors in california will pierce a child's ear. it is illegal here. i have been to many and some wont even let my child walk in the door. i think that's the law in most states of the US. even in florida. 

 

plus a couple of piercers told me they wouldnt do it on principal till the child was a teen because the lobe is still growing and you cant perfectly center it when they are young. 

 

your best bet - a friend piercer or check with your ped if they will do it. 

 

me - i couldnt find any proper place. so i just took dd to claires. and she did fine. 

post #6 of 16

No not the law in most states.  Texas and quite a few others will do it with a BC and a guardian.  My ped told me to go to a tat parlor.  He said they're better at handling things and not to go to some place in the mall. 

post #7 of 16
Our ped did my dd's. She was 5 at the time & really wanted to get her ears pierced. Worked out fine - no problems. It was 50.00$ plus the cost if the gold stud earrings, so, kind of pricey.
post #8 of 16

i was a professional piercer for nearly 15 years, owned my own shop and was a active member of the Association of Professional Piercers

 

here is what i would do 

 

 

first of all how old is your child, they are right in that there is a age where it is probably better to wait, even if tons of folks dont. her ears will change and small differences in the piercing now can lead to lopsided holes later and often holes that are too low to look balanced on an adult.  the age in my shop, which i set, was a very mature 7-8 year old usually, though it was a case by case basis.  here where my reasons for that age:

 

needed to be able to understand what was going to happen ti them and follow simple directions to hold still and keep there hands down and keep doing this for the second ear, i do not like doing both at once, it is very hard to have two piercers to the similar angle and if they dont ring will hang different and always be annoying.

 

need to be able to understand  and do a reasonable job at not touching them while they heal, since they will itch as abnormal part of healing. fiddling with them during the day is the surest way to get an infection and really prolong healing and increase scaring.

 

need to be able to participate in the aftercare, they will need a parent to make sure it is done correctly, but they need to be a willing participant or it won't be done well

 

as for finding someone, i really applaud you wanting to go to a professional, the malls are not only gross and unclean no matter what they say, they are untrained and you may be getting it done by some random person on their first day. the ear piercing gun companies are a powerful lobby and have gotten themselves exempt from most of the laws that are required of the shops that use sterilized professional needles. it is actually rather sick, in my state for instance that had the earlobe officially declared not a part of the body, so that they did not have to wash their hands before piercing it. really. that and guns cause a lot of damage and scaring, create a hole that is much more susceptible to infection and insert jewelry that is harder to heal with. here is good info on piercing guns 

 

you can go to the Association of Professional Piercers website at SafePiercing.org and look up folks. then you need to go talk to them, just because they are a "pro" or even a member, does not mean they aren't gross. Go there , ask questions politely and ask for a tour. if they are defensive to this, they are hiding bad practices. good piercers are thrilled when folks really want to learn and take care of themselves.

 

 

post #9 of 16

Piercing shops in FL will do children. My DD1 got her ears pierced there while on vacation when she was 7.5 at a tattoo/piercing shop. We live in CO and I've know numerous children that have gotten theirs done professionally here at a piercing shop. It was a good age for us to do DD1's, she was old enough to take good care of themselves and never even flinched getting it done. 

post #10 of 16
"Go there , ask questions politely and ask for a tour. if they are defensive to this, they are hiding bad practices. good piercers are thrilled when folks really want to learn and take care of themselves."

I'm not quoting right, sorry. I'm on my phone. But, I completely agree with Adorkable here. When I got my belly button pierced I went to a great place, and without me even asking they gave me a tour and were super nice. It was a great experience, and if the shop was close to where you live I would recommend it. It's in Seattle though, if it's still there.
post #11 of 16

My pediatrician's office does piercing. IMO that would be the safest/cleanliest place to have it done. 

post #12 of 16

although the pads office might be the cleanest though not necessarily (they tend to have a lot of sick folks around and lazy cleaning between clients, I'm sorry to say.

 

, they would also use a gun and that is something that has lots of its own issues.

 

bottom line the pads office does to have any piercing training and is less likely to do them straight or matched. and i have in my life as a piercer heard some of the worst aftercare come straight from doctors, who really tend to confuse wound disinfection with would care. a common and very bad mistake for piercing aftercare.

 

post #13 of 16

Totally OT, but Adorkable, are those your twins?  They are SO cute!! What a precious picture!

post #14 of 16

I have to agree with staying away from the piercing guns.  I had my ears pierced when I was in second grade and they used the piercing gun.  My mom watched them clean the equipment and everything, but my aunt and I (both pierced on the same day, her second holes, my first) both got infections.  My ears got so bad that I'm still iffy about having people touch my ears.

 

Something else to think about, pediatrician's offices and mall stores both tend to default to gold and stainless steel for piercings.  Unfortunately, a LOT of people are actually allergic to stainless steel and even gold.  A professional piercer will only use medical grade surgical steel or titanium, drastically reducing the risk of an allergic reaction, which can also cause a lot of problems including infection.  I had to find out the hard way that I'm allergic to both stainless steel and gold.  I can wear either for a short period now that the piercings have healed, but it caused a lot of problems when the piercings were new.  I had my ears pierced twice with a gun and both times I had to let them close due to allergic reactions.

 

Another thing about going to a professional piercer?  Most piercers will help you out to no end if you have a problem with the piercing.  If it itches a little more than usual or if it's red or has more discharge than usual, you can call your piercer and they're always happy to help.  Often times it's nothing to worry about, but they're also right there with professional quality advice if there is a problem.  In my case a professional piercer is the only reason I can have my ears pierced now at all.  Being pierced twice before by gun and the allergic reactions left scarring so bad that everyone always thought my ears were pierced.  The scar tissue wasn't comfortable either.  My piercer (who is awesome) actually suggested she use a bigger gauge to pierce me and core out the scar tissue.  I haven't had problems with my ears since, and when my daughter's ready to have her ears pierced, I'm bringing her back to my piercer.

 

Also, this may feel like it's a little underhanded, but when I was looking at getting my nose pierced (which I had done before my ears this last time) I called around to all the local tattoo/piercing places.  I asked them about their rates, then I asked "if your piercer isn't available the day I go in for a piercing, who else would you recommend."  Every single one of them (aside from the place that swore their piercer was always in and when he wasn't their apprentice would do it for cheap, which didn't sound right to me) recommended the same piercer.  As it turns out, she fixes a lot of the problems people have from other piercing shops.  If the piercer doesn't know how to fix the problem, they send them to Nick.  That right there is one of the greatest recommendations you can get.  Also, ask the piercers themselves who they would go to if they were going to get a piercing.  They'll always choose the best in town.

 

Here's some suggestions from my piercer:

Ask how long they've been piercing.

Ask who they apprenticed under and for how long.

In the case of kids, ask if they have any prior experience with kids.

Ask to see their portfolio.  As Nick told me, any good piercer will have a portfolio just like a tattoo artist.

Ask how they sterilize their equipment and where they get their supplies from.  Nick never says specifically who her supplier is, but she's always clear that she gets everything from a medical-grade supplier and how everything she uses fits within state requirements.  She doesn't like giving out the names of her suppliers because sometimes underground piercers are just looking for a place to buy from.

Ask about what options they have for jewelry and what are the pros and cons for each.  Some shops offer less options than others, and some only pierce ears with hoops.  They should be able to explain why they offer the choices they do and which one they believe is best.

Ask about recommended aftercare before you get the piercing.  I've noticed a lot of places suggest different things, but they should be able to tell you why they use the method they do and why to avoid things commonly used for healing wounds, like neosporin and alcohol.

 

If a piercer can't or won't answer these questions, that's generally a red flag that something is going on, though you've kind of got to trust your instinct.  If the place sounds pretty good, can answer a bunch of questions, and seems reasonable, that's definitely the place to go.  A lot of places don't allow kids even in states where it's not prohibited, but there are often just as many places that do.  My kids were there when I got half my piercings, for almost all the jewelry changes I couldn't do myself, and for several of my friends being pierced.

 

I guess the short of it all is go with a professional.  They're trained to do piercings and that's all they dedicate their time to.  The people at mall stores generally only get a two hour review and someone sitting over their shoulder the first two or three times they pierce, which means they really don't get much training at all and really specialize in retail.  Pediatricians and nurses may know sterile procedure, but they don't have a lot of experience in piercing.  Professional piercers, however, are dedicated to piercing, require a lot more training before their apprenticeship ends, in most cases a year to two years seems to be standard.  They are also held to much higher standard for everything from their equipment to certification to sterile techniques than anyone else who does piercings for children.  I'd say it's the safest way to go.

post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

Totally OT, but Adorkable, are those your twins?  They are SO cute!! What a precious picture!



yes they are, thank you



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarasyn View Post

Ask to see their portfolio.  As Nick told me, any good piercer will have a portfolio just like a tattoo artist.



You have great advice, just remember in this point, that they , like tattoo artist will only show you the most perfect piercings on the cutest people most of the time. and like tattoos, they do not show them healed usually. so portfolio books are great for inspiration, but not too helpful in judging the outcomes of a piercer. (they are more helpful in terms of tattoo, but again, they dont include their mistakes)

 

post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Adorkable~ View Post

You have great advice, just remember in this point, that they , like tattoo artist will only show you the most perfect piercings on the cutest people most of the time. and like tattoos, they do not show them healed usually. so portfolio books are great for inspiration, but not too helpful in judging the outcomes of a piercer. (they are more helpful in terms of tattoo, but again, they dont include their mistakes)

 



Good point, but the reason my piercer suggests it, if they don't have a portfolio, chances are it's because they're either not experienced enough or don't have anything to show off.  It's sort of like your comment (I think it was yours) about asking them about a tour.  It's one of those things that if they refuse to show you their portfolio, give you a tour, whatever, perhaps they're not the piercer you want to be going to, you know?

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