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Yikes! A Little Girl Needs Surgery to Remove a Pierced Earring

The Short of It

Michelle Moore got her daughter's ears pierced when she was two-and-a-half. A year later, when the North Carolina mom went to remove her daughter's costume earrings, she noticed the decorative front had fallen off, and what remained (the front flange) was embedded into the little girl's earlobe! The post and the earring’s back were sticking out of the back—but surgery was needed to remove the piece inside.

The Lowdown 

Lots of parents grapple with when—if ever—to pierce their kids' ears. (A recent UK campaign actually rallied to ban piercing babies' ears.) Michelle Moore didn't bedazzle her infant's lobes and waited until her child was a toddler. And everything was fine until a year later, when the girl's grandma purchased her a coveted pair of Hello Kitty earrings from the popular costume jewelry store Claire's. One evening when Michelle went to remove the earrings, she noticed the flang was embedded in the child's earlobe. She was concerned, but didn't panic. “I watched it for a few days hoping that it would work itself back out,” Moore told But after a few days, she made an appointment with the family’s pediatrician. Next thing she knew, her young daughter was going under anesthesia (scary for anyone, but especially a child) and an ENT had to make a small incision to remove the jewelry. Thankfully, the outpatient surgery went well and the child's ear is expected to heal up just fine. 

The Upshot

Moore shared her story because she hopes other young children can avoid the same surgery and pain that her daughter experienced. Sure, it was a freak occurrence, but stories like this one serve as a good reminder to other parents to be vigilant. If your child has pierced ears,inspect her (or his!) earrings regularly to make sure the front is firmly attached to the post. The American Academy of Pediatrics has guidelines for pierced-ear care, which include applying rubbing alcohol or antibiotic ointment to a new piercing several times a day to avoid infection. As a mom to a little boy who has no interest in getting his ears pierced, I haven't had to deal with this, but my own mom was totally against getting my ears pierced when I was a baby (my dad was all for it.). My mom won out—and in fact, I didn't get my ears pierced until I was in college! What's your take on piercing little ear lobes? Yay or nay? Share!

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