Piercings have always been a contested topic for parents, but the belly button seems to be a bit harder to accept than other body parts. While a symbol of royalty and wealth in some ancient cultures, belly button rings tend to be associated with rebellion in the present day. However, if the topic lands in your lap, should you let your daughter get a belly button piercing, or should you protest the idea?
Here are the top things to consider about this piercing before making a final decision.
Belly Button Piercings Are More Permanent Than Other Areas
Unlike your ears that are primarily made of cartilage, your belly is composed of fatty tissue and muscle. When you pierce this area, there will be scarring. Unfortunately, this damaged flesh will no longer function in the same way that it normally would.
Therefore, once the hole sets, your daughter will likely be stuck with it forever unless she plans to have surgery to repair it. Due to the fact that this would be a more permanent fixture on her body, you might want to give it some extra thought before jumping to a decision.
Here is a piercer going over some of the myths of a belly button pearsing.
The Risk of Infection is Higher
This type of piercing requires at least nine months to a year for it to heal. Unlike an ear, this wound needs time to mend externally and internally. The process requires a lot of maintenance and care. If it is not taken care of properly, infections can become a major issue.
This can include something as minor as yeast affecting the area or it can escalate to something more serious like a streptococcus or staph infection. This can lead to hospitalization, and on rare occasions, death. In order to prevent these types of issues, the person who gets the piercing needs to conduct stringent cleaning practices.
Moreover, the avoidance of lakes, pools and hot tubs is imperative in order to prevent bacteria from getting into the wound. Therefore, this should not be a Spring or Summer time decision as this could lead to the temptation to engage in these types of pastimes before the recovery time is complete.
Additionally, don’t forget that jewelry tends to snag on things. During the first few months of healing, she will need to steer clear of tight-fitting clothes and fabrics with a loose weave. Certain exercises and activities can also pose a risk. While healing, too hard of a tug could lead to the navel ring being ripped out.
Finally, due to the higher risk of illness that comes with this piercing location, those individuals who are immunocompromised should avoid this type of body art. This can include kids with congenital heart problems, diabetes, bleeding disorders as well as allergies to certain metals.
Pregnancy and Belly Button Piercings Don’t Mix
Your daughter might be far from being pregnant right now, but since this hole will potentially be with her forever, the repercussions of this decision can impact her for decades down the line. As we all know, while pregnant, a woman’s belly will expand, and just like the rest of her stomach, that lovely little hole can stretch as well.
Due to the scarring that occurs during the healing process, every piercing will react differently to the drastic changes that pregnancy will bring. Some women will notice sagging, others will develop a larger hole, and some will see increased scarring. This may not be a problem right now, but it is something to take into consideration.
Reasons For This Decision
Another thing to contemplate when deciding if you will allow your daughter to get her belly button pierced is why she suddenly wants this accessory. Does one of her friends have one? Does she just like how it looks? Has she always talked about piercings? Is Summer coming up? Is there a boy motivating this style choice?
This is a big decision, so treat it as such. If body piercings are something that you would potentially allow, have her wait six months. If she still stands firm on this choice, then she has had ample time to mull over this decision.
Your Child’s Age
While it would be fantastic if there was a parenting handbook that detailed the appropriate age that your child could do things, that book sadly does not exist. Something to keep in mind is that most states will not allow persons under the age of 18 to get a piercing of any kind without the consent of a parent or legal guardian. Moreover, many locations prohibit piercings prior to the age of 14 and others designate certain piercings to certain ages.
While you can let your fourteen year old get a belly button piercing, most parents seem to wait until at least sixteen for this contentious milestone. This is the age that teens are trusted to safely use a motor vehicle, so suddenly a piercing seems like much less of a risk.
Recommendations from the AAP
The American Academy of Pediatrics has certain guidelines that are important to follow if you chose to allow your children to get piercings. First, make sure that they are up to date on all of their vaccines. Their tetanus and hepatitis shots are imperative in preventing infections due to piercing problems.
Furthermore, ensure that the salon you take them to is clean, has a legitimate business license, and that they maintain the proper certifications from the Association of Professional Piercers (APP). Moreover, verify that the salon uses an autoclave because sterile instruments are imperative for safety.
Things To Remember
This may have been a conversation that you were dreading or one that you never expected. Your friends might also be shocked if you ask them “should i let my daughter get a belly button piercing?”
Either way, it is important that you implement active listening when your teen discusses it with you. Don’t immediately dismiss the idea because you always want your teen to feel comfortable coming to you about important decisions.
Ultimately, this is your choice for the time being. If you decide against it, there is no establishment that can legally provide this service for those under the age of eighteen. However, we have all seen those movie moments where a piercing arises at a slumber party or a friend’s house. If you turn down this request, make sure to note why you have made the decision and talk to your teen about how if they were to try to do it themselves, it would be a detrimental health risk.
If you are wondering about letting your daughter get a belly button piercing, the first thing to take into consideration is how responsible your child is and if she could properly maintain the piercing during the lengthy recovery time.
This topic is like wondering if you should let your daughter dye her hair. It will take a lot of thinking and discussing before making a decision.
If you determine that this is something she could do, then take the time to discuss the risks as well as the reason for the sudden interest.
Finally, let it simmer. This is a potentially irreversible alteration to her body so therefore, it is important to sit with the idea for a while before jumping to a conclusion. If the excitement over this body art is still there in half a year, then there is less of a risk of a sudden change of heart.
For peace of mind, remember that this is an accessory that can be easily hidden and normally, if removed in less than five years, many women report the hole slowly closing up.