Most parents disagree with the ages their children get their ears pierced

The latest research from a comparison site from an independent jeweller has just revealed that the average age for a child in the UK to get their ears pieced is now only 7 years old. This is 6 years younger than the age that most 25-30 year old say that they got their ears pierced. The confusing part is that the vast majority of parents whose child had their ears pierced before they were 15 said that they disagreed with the procedure.

The age at which children in the UK are getting their ears pierced is apparently getting younger and younger, according to results from a new poll by an independent jewellery comparison website;  revealing that the average child now gets their ears pierced at the age of ‘7.5 years old’. In contrast, the average age at which those currently aged 25-30 got their ears pierced was revealed to be 13 years old- suggesting that the average age has dropped by 6 years in a decade.

The study was conducted by www.comparejewellery.com  as part of research into the jewellery purchases and decisions of people around the UK. The study particularly focused on earrings and ear piercing, and polled two groups in particular; 1,023 parents currently with a female child aged 15 or under, and 1,100 women aged between 25-30 years old.

The parents taking part were asked to state whether or not their child currently had their ears (or ear) pierced, to which just under half, 46%, said ‘yes’. These respondents were then asked how old their child had been when their child had first had their ears pierced. With all answers taken into account, the average age for ear piercing was revealed to be ‘7.5 years old’.

In contrast, 62% of the respondents aged 25-30 taking part claimed to have their ears (or an ear) pierced. When asked to state at what age they had first had their ear(s) pierced, the average age was revealed to be ’13.1 years old’; suggesting that the average age for first-time ear piercing has dropped by 6 years in the past decade.

Of the parents taking part, 61% labelled ‘giving into pressure from their child’ as the main reason for allowing their child to have their ear(s) pierced; whilst a fifth, 19%, claimed that they personally had wanted their child to have pierced ears, and so had the procedure done.

Furthermore, 72% claimed that they had disagreed with their partner about allowing their child to have the procedure done at the age at which they had done so. Of these respondents, the majority 55%, claimed that the father of the child did not want their child to have their ear(s) pierced; whilst 45% claimed the mother of the child was unhappy about the procedure being done at the age at which it was.

One in ten, 12%, of the parents taking part admitted that their child had their ear(s) pierced without their knowledge. Of these, the majority, 49%, claimed that their child had their ear(s) pierced when with friends; whilst 37% claimed that a friend or family member had enabled their child to have their ear(s) pierced without their knowledge.

In contrast, just 7% of those aged 25-30 who had their ears pierced claimed that they had done so without parental knowledge at the time.

Parents taking part with a child with pierced ears were asked whether or not they ensured that the earrings worn by their child were of ‘good quality metal’; lessening the risk of infection or adverse skin reactions. According to the results, just 15% of the parents taking part said ‘yes’.

Furthermore, when all respondents were asked if there was a particular age at which they believed a law should be put in place to allow children to get their ear pierced at, 37% said ‘yes’. Of these, the majority of respondents, 51%, claimed that ’12 years old’ should be the legal ear piercing age; with no piercing allowed below this age, regardless of parental permission.

Ali O’Neill, Head of Product at comparejewellery.com, commented on the findings:

“Whilst ear piercing on children is absolutely at a parent’s discretion, there are certain elements of risk that parents need to be aware of. This is particularly the case when it comes to cheap metals, which can often causing adverse skin reactions and subsequently infections; which is never something that a child should be subjected to an increased risk of.

We would recommend that any parent thinking of having their child’s ear(s) pierced research for reputable establishments according to health and safety standards, and ensure that their child wears sterling silver or any other qood quality metals. This will limit the risk of problems associated with the piercing, with plenty of choice of good quality earrings available from major high street and independent retailers to choose from.”