published Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Ask A Doctor: I have a 6-week-old baby girl and am wondering how old she needs to be before I can get her ears pierced?

Dr. Tonia Cox

Q: I have a 6-week-old baby girl and am wondering how old she needs to be before I can get her ears pierced?

A: It would be ideal to wait until she is able to decide she wants to get them pierced and is mature enough to take care of them herself. There is a risk of choking on the small parts of earrings, and little babies are more susceptible to infection. However, if you feel compelled to have them pierced earlier, I advise waiting at least four weeks after her first 2-month shots, when she will be vaccinated against tetanus. Also, make sure you use a reputable piercer who uses sterile equipment and has experience piercing infants.

— Dr. Tonia Cox, Pediatric Diagnostic

Associates; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society

Readers: To submit a question for medical doctors, email it to Clint Cooper at ccooper@timesfreepress.com. See this space each week for answers.

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