There are many different factors which influence the decision of a parent to get their child’s ears pierced, such as culture and faith. As an example there is a Hindu ceremony called Karnvedh Sanskar in which children have their ears pierced, usually before their fifth birthday although there is no definite age that this is done. The ceremony is accompanied by certain rituals such as girls have their left ear pierced first whereas boys have the right ear pierced first.
Regardless of the reason for piercing a child’s ears there is a common problem – children lose their earrings with an alarming frequency. Earrings get pulled, caught whilst being bathed and dressed or simply lost in the business of being a child. The task of replacing a child’s earring can be a challenging task, and not for the feint-hearted parent! So, what can be done to prevent this?
Well, luckily there are several options. There are the usual standard butterfly and bullet earring backs however these are not always the best choice for a small child, especially with cheaper earrings that come with poor quality earring backs which are frequently lost.
Another option is ‘baby backs’. These are a soft, rubber earring back which don’t irritate the skin and the better quality ones adhere well to the earring post. Normally they are designed to cover the end of the earring post so that the sharp point doesn’t stick in to the child while they are sleeping. These are not normally as reliable as screw backs but can be more reliable – and more comfortable than conventional butterflies.
There are more secure solutions available too: Some earrings are fitted with ‘screw backs’. The post of these earrings have a thread and the back simply screws on to this (hence the name!). There are reports that these can work loose and an earring could still be lost. However the frequency of this is much reduced compared to conventional earring backs. Some of the earrings that are specifically for children come with screw backs fitted as standard which is especially useful when buying expensive earrings, or those with a special sentimental value such as those bought for a baptism. There are some reports that infections can occur if these are too close to the child’s ear as it is difficult to clean, hence regular removal and cleaning might be prudent.
Other secure solutions include “La poussette” earring backs, which offer both security and comfort. Like the screw backs, these can only be bought with the earrings as they need special earring posts to work.
Lox are a secure, locking earring back that fit any stud earring post, hence should fit the small post of a child’s earring. These are easy to use – they simply slide on but then need to be squeezed to release.
There are pros and cons to all of these options: The less secure options do mean that if the earring is caught or pulled the earring is likely to just fall out, whereas the more secure backs may cause damage to the ear as they are designed to stop the earring from falling out. Even the secure options are not infallible and might be dangerous if swallowed. Hence this issue is really down to parental choice. All of the earring back solutions discussed in this article are readily available both online and from High Street retailers.