By Rob Hill & Jacob Spjut
Choosing where to go to get your child’s ears pierced can be difficult without thorough and accurate information. While it is tempting to make this decision based upon convenience, we at Prysm Body Piercing encourage parents to consider quality and safety as primary factors in selecting a studio and piercer. Since there are no regulations in Iowa regarding the practices, environment, or education of the piercer, it is up to parents to conduct research to learn about these prior to making a decision where to go.
In this article, you will find a series of questions that we have answered to help provide guidance on piercing. We also encourage you to visit www.safepiercing.org to learn more about body piercing and to find a reputable location near you.
Q. What are the risks of ear/body piercing?
A: Risks can include bruising, bleeding, swelling or more serious bacterial infections, viruses, and excessive permanent scarring. These risks can be avoided by going to an educated professional.
Q: How does your method (needle) differ from the piercing gun?
A: It is a drastic difference. We utilize a fully sterile procedure including: Sterile needles, sterile gloves, sterile drapes, and sterile disposables. Reusable piercing guns cannot be sterilized. Furthermore, the needle will create a smooth insertion into the body rather than the blunt force trauma of piercing gun studs.
Q: What is the minimum age of a child that you would perform piercings on? Do you feel it is safe to pierce babies?
A: Our minimum age is 5 years old for earlobe piercings. We find that at this age, the child has the capacity to understand his/her choice, which makes the experience far more positive. Since the likelihood of healing also relies on care of the area once the child leaves the studio, we feel that 5-year old children have greater ability to understand the importance of aftercare. In contrast, babies can neither make the choice to be pierced, nor can they comply with our recommendations for caring for their piercing. This puts babies at a higher risk during the healing process, and the piercing experience can be very scary for them. We want our clients to have a positive piercing experience, regardless of their age.
Q: What procedures do you follow when performing a child’s piercings?
A: To help facilitate a positive experience for the child, we have a process in place that has helped many get through their piercing with minimal discomfort. First, we require an in-studio consultation at least one day prior to the piercing. During this time, we walk the child and parent, step-by-step, through our entire piercing procedure. We show him/her all the tools and materials they can expect to see while getting pierced. This gives a greater level of comfort that they would not have, if they are exposed to new people or equipment at the time of their actual piercing appointment. After the consultation, we browse our extensive selection of implant-grade jewelry, choosing not only a set that is beautiful, but one that is custom to their unique anatomy. When the child returns for his/her scheduled appointment, we know that she has had time to consider the decision and become excited to wear the beautiful jewelry that she has already chosen.
Q: You talk about custom jewelry. What kind of jewelry is safe? Could I bring in my own?
A: At Prysm, we exceed the Association of Professional Piercers’ standards for initial jewelry, offering only implant-grade materials, all of which are verifiable. Given our stringent standards regarding the material, design, and surface finish of our jewelry, and considering that most novelty stores do not offer jewelry that meets these standards, we rarely feel it safe to use outside jewelry. If you wish to know for sure, you can bring in the jewelry and allow us to inspect it.
Q: How can we ensure the piercing heals well, and what should we avoid?
A: Assuming the piercing is performed by a well-trained piercer using proper techniques, most issues can be avoided if the child follows our four rules for piercing care:
Rule 1: Do not touch your new piercing.
Rule 2: Do not touch your new piercing.
Rule 3: Do not touch your new piercing.
Rule 4: Do not listen to unprofessional advice / internet.
To care for the piercing, we recommend the use of sterile saline to be used twice a day. We want to encourage the body to heal naturally, so we never encourage exposing it to anything not already created by the body. This is why we provide sterile saline free of charge with every piercing we perform. In addition, children should avoid activities that might expose their piercing to irritation and bacteria. We will always make time to respond to any concerns you or your child may have during the healing process.
Q: So I have decided to take my child to Prysm Body Piercing, how much will it cost?
A: We charge a piercing fee of $37 for a single ear piercing, and $25 for an additional piercing in the same session. This $62 for a pair of ear piercings does not include jewelry, but covers the cost of piercing, aftercare, and state of the art sterilization. The cost of jewelry will vary based on size, material, design, and gemstone.
Ensuring your child’s safety is our priority, and hope to see you soon. If you have any future questions, please feel free to contact us.
Rob Hill is the owner of Prysym Piercing, which is located inside Color Works Tattoo, on the lower level of Valley West Mall near Younkers.
Prysm Piercing and Jewelry Gallery
1551 Valley W Drive #104B
West Des Moines, IA 50266