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What kids should know about getting piercing done safely

Even if you do everything right, you can still have problems with pierced ears. But if you do your best to make sure you go to a safe piercing place, you will be better off. Here's what to look for:

  • A clean, safe place: Be sure the place where you have your ears pierced uses special methods to keep everything sterile. Anything that touches your ear should come out of a sealed bag and be disposable. That means it is used only on you and no one else, and is thrown away afterward. Some people say piercing guns aren't the best because they're hard to keep clean. If your piercer uses a piercing gun, be sure the part that touches you hasn't been used on anyone else. 

  • Hand-washing and gloves: Before starting the procedure, the piercer should wash his or her hands and put on gloves like doctors use. 

  • High-quality earrings: Be sure the earrings that they use are made of surgical steel, titanium, 14- or 18-karat gold, or something called niobium. They should never have any nickel, cobalt, or white gold, because those things can make your skin itchy and red.