Sound Off

Sound Off: Involuntary ear piercing

At a local store, a mother was holding a little girl who was throwing a fit while the clerk attempted to pierce her ear. Did the clerk have no legal duty to stop when the little girl was clearly not giving permission?

State law holds the parent responsible, not the clerk, according to a legal specialist at the Kansas Board of Cosmetology. A minor must have written permission from a parent to get a tattoo or a piercing from a licensed professional in the state of Kansas, but there is nothing that says a child must give permission themselves. If the parent were breaking the law, it would be a matter for the police or the Kansas Department for Children and Families.

Comments

Steve Swaggerty 2 years, 3 months ago

To the person who posed this question: GET A LIFE!!!

DillonBarnes 2 years, 3 months ago

Whether you agree or disagree with piercing a child's ear, I believe it's a far cry from child abuse. When a 2 year old cries because she doesn't want to put on her shoes but her mother makes here, is that child abuse?

Yes, be aware of child abuse, but this sounds like a good time to mind your own business.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 3 months ago

So, physical mutilation is the same thing as putting on a pair of shoes? Interesting.

gccs14r 2 years, 3 months ago

Yes, mutilation. Just because it happens a lot doesn't make it not so. Let the kid grow up and make an informed decision.

Kathy Getto 2 years, 3 months ago

I agree gccs, just because many women do it doesn't make it any less mutilation.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 3 months ago

How about a nose piercing? A tongue stud? Full body tattoo? Would those be acceptable?

jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Really? You're equating a medical procedure designed to help prevent illness with ear piercing?

jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

People believe all sorts of bizarre things.

jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Except that children aren't actually property - they're separate living human beings.

As such, they deserve more respect than being forced to have their ears pierced, even by their own parents, if they don't want to.

dangerismymiddlename 2 years, 3 months ago

LJWorld re-wrote the question. I was there, but I am not the person that sent in the letter.

The child was screaming in terror. She was not simple crying. She was holding her hands over her ears, and her mother was holding her down, so that the clerk could pierce her second ear against her will. I never heard a child that terrified in my entire life.

Her first ear had been pierced the day before, and apparently for whatever reason, that was not a normal experience.

Children only have their parents to protect them, and this child did not.

DRsmith 2 years, 3 months ago

Child abuse? Are you serious? I take it you are a big believer in time outs huh?

KS 2 years, 3 months ago

superwagg56 - you were probably the parent. Poor kid. Let them make the decision when they are older.

avarom 2 years, 2 months ago

Wonder what Honey Boo-Boo would say??

Steve Jacob 2 years, 3 months ago

Not child abuse, but when I pass a Clarie's and see some one-two year old getting pierced I sake my head.

Sue McDaniel 2 years, 3 months ago

I agree, let it be a special occasion by choice later in life......but really I suppose not my business. I would never have done that.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm concerned about the parent who feeds their child McDonal's twice a week, Wendy's once, Taco Bell once and KFC on Sundays. What department of government do I call?

jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

That's too bad that you're not actually concerned about those kids then.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

Who said I wasn't concerned? But if I think it's best for a child to get outside in the fresh air and engage in active play while some parent allows their child to sit in the living room and play video games doesn't mean the government should become involved. Ultimately, it's not my business and it's not the government's business, despite my concerns.

CHEEZIT 2 years, 3 months ago

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner! Can't even stand the commercials! Just when you think TV can stoop any lower!!!

PhilChiles 2 years, 3 months ago

Well, somebody has to say it: If that child had been armed, this would not have happened.

costello 2 years, 3 months ago

Where does it say she was 2?

There was a similar incident in Wichita a few years ago that made the news because someone called the police. In that case the child was 5, and she had been hounding her mom for weeks to get her ears pierced because her older sister had. After the first ear she didn't want to have the second one done. The clerk and the mom were trying to convince her to go ahead with it, when someone called the police.

As I recall it made the national news and more than one person pointed out that circumcision is just as unnecessary, higher risk, and done on infants without anesthesia.

mom_of_three 2 years, 3 months ago

my sister was 5 and begged to have her ears pierced. our grandmother worked at a jewelry store and so they went there to have them done. After having the first one done, she screamed bloody murder and wouldn't let them do the second. not sure how long they tried at the store, but grandma took it home and they finally got it done.

dangerismymiddlename 2 years, 3 months ago

I was there, but I am not the person that sent in the letter.

This was a very similar case to what you described.

The child was screaming in terror, and holding her hands over her ears. Her mother was holding her down, so that the clerk could pierce her second ear against her will. I never heard a child that terrified before.

Children only have their parents to protect them, and this child did not. This would have been very different if the mom wasn't holding her down when she was terrified. She would have eventually been calm enough that the mother could have done the piercing for her, but holding her down like that was freaking her out.

As far as the people writing "busybody" are concerned: nobody did anything to the mother for this. A question was simply asked on LJWorld.com. No big deal.

mom_of_three 2 years, 3 months ago

My sister screamed in pain, NOT TERROR, because although they told her it would "bite," it was more than she wanted. Once the 2nd one was done, she was fine.

jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Sure, because subjecting a child to unnecessary pain is no big deal.

What's wrong with people?

meatheadwisdom 2 years, 3 months ago

I've seen some kids' names that I would classify as abusive too. I submit that we call them all "boy" or "girl" until they reach the age of 5 and can name themselves. My son probably would have named himself "ball" or "sghetti" at that age. Nothing wrong with that...

kernal 2 years, 3 months ago

I wouldn't exactly call this child abuse, but some parents need to realize their children are people, not dolls or playthings. Let them wait until they're old enough to make their own decision about having their ears pierced.

akt2 2 years, 3 months ago

My daughter's pediatrician talked me out of it when my daughter was a baby. You could have them pierced at the doctor's office. Now she is 17 and doesn't have pierced ears or want pierced ears. She wants to get her nose pierced. Times are a changing.

Eileen Jones 2 years, 3 months ago

Piercing the ears of a baby is just horrible. It is child abuse. All for the vanity of a parent.

Katara 2 years, 3 months ago

Piercing is a cultural thing and it is a minor procedure.

Personally, I'd prefer to have it done in the doctor's office because if the parents are concerned about pain, the doctor has more tools available (lidocaine cream, etc).

I had mine done at 13. It turns out that I am allergic to lots of metals. :(

jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

I take it that you wanted them done at 13, which is a reasonable age from my point of view.

Sorry about the allergies - can you at least wear sterling silver?

Do you think it's ok for parents to pierce their 5 year old kid's ears even if they don't want them to?

Also, I agree that a doctor's office would be a better idea, with some sort of pain reducing stuff available.

Katara 2 years, 3 months ago

13 was when I was allowed to have them done and I paid for the piercing with the allowance I saved. According to my parents only Gypsies had pierced ears and they felt pierced ears were unseemly. I am certain that my mom talked with other mothers and made the decision to allow me to have them pierced if those mothers thought it okay.

I wanted them for a very long time. Many of the girls in my school had them since at least kindergarten (when I first met them). I was very envious.

I think it is better to pierce them as an infant and if not done then, wait until they want them done. The pain is very little. It is the noise of the piercing gun that is startling more than the actual sting.

I can wear silver and gold without issue. Nickel is an absolute guarantee of a painful blister rash. I also cannot wear anything plated as my skin is acidic enough, it wears away the coating. From what I understand, it is a common allergy.

bad_dog 2 years, 3 months ago

"...insanitary needless..."

? Crazy yet unnecessary?

LadyJ 2 years, 3 months ago

Ah, brings back memories of my own daughter who asked a 5 or 6 to have her ears pierced like her friends. After the lady did the first one and she realized it hurt, she started crying and decided she didn't want them pierced after all. We went home with one pierced ear which grew shut. Ten yrs later she again wanted them pierced like her friends, this time was successful. About five yrs later she decided she was tired of messing with them and let them grow shut again.

Randall Uhrich 2 years, 3 months ago

Forcing a child to do something for his or hers own good is one thing. But painfully and permanently maiming the child involuntarily for cosmetic reasons is unmistakeable child abuse. If not, would scarification of the face with a razor be OK? Ask the kid if it hurt? You bet! Piercing my ear hurt like hell.

acg 2 years, 2 months ago

Ick, it drives me crazy when I see kids with pierced ears. My first thought is, what if that kid grows up and doesn't want pierced ears? Well, too late now! My second thought is, how hard it must be to get them all healed and ready to go. Kids wallow, play, wrestle, squirm and don't pay attention to the little things. I can imagine how much it must hurt the child to turn the earrings twice daily and wipe the area down with alcohol, etc. I can imagine that accidentally ripping them out might be an issue. It's all too much. We should wait and let them make up their own minds, when they're old enough to make an informed choice and old enough to care for them properly.

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