PARENTS
10/06/2015 11:07 BST | Updated 10/06/2015 11:59 BST

Campaign Launched To Stop Parents Piercing Babies' And Toddlers' Ears

A campaign that launched to ban ear piercing for babies and toddlers is nearing its 30,000 signature target.

The petition on 38 Degrees was started by Susan Ingram, a mother who is calling for a minimum legal age for ear piercing.

She argues that piercing babies' or toddlers' ears is a form of "child cruelty".

On the petition page, she writes: "Severe pain and fear is inflicted upon infants unnecessarily. 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."

baby pierced ears

Those who have signed the petition are able to write their "reasons for signing" on the page.

Catherine H wrote: "Stop parents inflicting unnecessary pain on a child. Claire's Accessories are one of the worst offenders for piercing babies and toddlers ears. Make it illegal. Please."

Another mother said piercing young children's ears is the parents choice, not the babies' so there should be a minimum age limit put in place.

Claire M added: "Smacking a child is abuse, so how come sticking metal rods through their ears is not abuse?"

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However, Dana C, who pierced her baby's ears at one month old, has commented on the petition page and disagreed completely, describing the petition as "absolutely and utterly pointless".

She wrote: "I am pleased that my parents got it done for me when I was a child and I have no regrets that they did. And as someone who doesn't like needles (but ironically, loves piercings) it was beneficial for me to get it done at a time I would not even recall in the future.

"Ear piercings on a child are not abuse, contrary to the claims being made on here. [They] are minutely painful and the baby will forget it.

"They also heal a lot better for young children than they do when they are older, and more 'mature' to make this decision."

Author Eleni Gage got her daughter's ears pierced at six months old and was called a range of names including shallow, self-centred, repulsive and horrible.

She says she made the decision to pierce her child's ears for cultural reasons - her husband is Nicaraguan and it was part of a culture to get it done.

Blogging on HuffPost, she wrote: "I pierced Amalía's ears for no other reason than because I thought it would make lots of people I love happy, including her someday."

Journalist Josie Golden discussed on HuffPost UK Parents whether there ever is a right age to pierce your child's ears.

She let her daughter have her ears pierced when she was 11 years old.

She wrote: It's not my concern if something my child is allowed to do, your [child] is not. Different families do things in different ways.

"Your child has an iPhone 5C – my child doesn't. Your child has a Facebook account, my child doesn't. Like I said, pick your battles – but please don't pick them with me."

What do you think? Is it up to the parents, or should you wait until they are older?

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