Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on
 

North West's earrings spark social media debate

By Caitlin Schmidt, Special to CNN
June 18, 2014 -- Updated 1850 GMT (0250 HKT)
In some cultures, it's no big deal to pierce a baby's ears. Others find doing so to be an unnecessary risk for a child.
In some cultures, it's no big deal to pierce a baby's ears. Others find doing so to be an unnecessary risk for a child.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West may have gotten her ears pierced
  • Some social media users object to a 1-year-old getting pierced ears
  • One doctor recommends waiting until a child is at least 6 months old

(CNN) -- North West, the 1-year-old daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, is already a social media darling due to her mom's active presence on Instagram. Now the child's new look is sparking some controversy online.

Recent photos of North wearing what appear to be diamond stud earrings have appeared online, sending the social media universe into overdrive.

The photos have revived debate about whether it's safe or even appropriate to pierce babies' ears.

In some cultures, it's expected and no big deal to pierce and adorn a baby's ears, but others find piercings to be an unnecessary source of pain and risk for a tot.

Piercing Pagoda, a jewelry kiosk found in malls across America, has been piercing ears since 1969, and its website boasts of 20 million piercings. Some parents opt to have their babies' ears pierced at birth, but Piercing Pagoda offers services to children 2 months and older, provided they are with "an identified parent or legal guardian," according to its site.

Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, executive director of digital health at Seattle Children's Hospital, recommends that parents wait until at least 6 months old, although even older is ideal.

"Ear piercing is always unnecessary, so if you're wanting to reduce all risks wait as long as you can into childhood," she said in an e-mail.

Piercing Pagoda recommends that children have their first vaccination for tetanus before piercing, but Swanson said it's best to wait until at least 6 months old when a baby's immune system is more developed.

By then, "your baby can have three tetanus shots, along with more mature earlobes," she said.

Swanson also recommends finding a pediatric office to do your child's piercing as the staff there is trained in sterile technique and is likely to use a pain reliever or topical anesthetic.

It's unclear where North received her piercing, or if it's even a real piercing, but the procedure would be medically safe for a 1-year-old, according to Swanson.

Do you think a 1-year-old is too young for ear piercing? When did you get yours done? Share your take in the comments section below.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1619 GMT (0019 HKT)
Sarah McLachlan, the Grammy Award winning singer, was barely out of her teenage years when her first album came out in 1988. Now, she's a 46-year-old divorced mom of two girls touring the country to promote her seventh full-length solo album called "Shine On."
Can a building or park make you happier? See 10 ways our shared spaces are being re-invented through fresh design.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1154 GMT (1954 HKT)
Researchers say physical punishment actually alters the brain -- not only in an "I'm traumatized!" kind of way, but also in an "I literally have less gray matter in my brain!" kind of way.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 2041 GMT (0441 HKT)
The case of a South Carolina mother arrested for allegedly leaving her 9-year-old daughter at a park for hours while she worked at a nearby McDonald's has sparked a robust debate online about whether this mother should ever have been arrested and how young is too young to leave a child on his or her own.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1515 GMT (2315 HKT)
CNN's Kelly Wallace reveals 5 common parenting mistakes that many parents admit to making.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1244 GMT (2044 HKT)
Is it a bad idea for parents to let kids drink underage at home, or does an early sip make drinking less taboo? Studies are divided on the subject, which is a tough nut for parents to crack.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1404 GMT (2204 HKT)
Kids who takes cellphones to bed are not sleeping, says Mel Robbins. Make them park their phones with the parents at night
July 15, 2014 -- Updated 1840 GMT (0240 HKT)
Professional photographer Timothy Archibald uses his camera to connect with his autistic son.
July 14, 2014 -- Updated 1316 GMT (2116 HKT)
Do you wish you could outsource the summer cooking, cleaning, and camp planning associated with kids? Here are 5 ways to do it -- and why you shouldn't feel guilty about it.
July 15, 2014 -- Updated 1852 GMT (0252 HKT)
The death of a Georgia toddler in a hot car raises the question: should government or automakers get involved to prevent accidental deaths from heatstroke inside a car?
July 8, 2014 -- Updated 1504 GMT (2304 HKT)
It's not just the 'baby blues.' Postpartum depression affects about 15% of new mothers. Here's what one 'warrior woman' is doing to fight it.
Post your personal essays and original photos, and tell us how it really is.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1417 GMT (2217 HKT)
What does it mean to run "like a girl"? A new viral video points out that the answer changes depending on whom you ask.
July 1, 2014 -- Updated 2122 GMT (0522 HKT)
CNN reporter Moni Basu lived in the U.S. nearly 30 years before becoming a citizen. Here's what it meant to pledge her allegiance.
July 1, 2014 -- Updated 2107 GMT (0507 HKT)
Her daughter was cut from the team. Her son didn't get into that coveted honors class. It was hard but also helpful. Here's how one mom learned to find lessons in failure.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1556 GMT (2356 HKT)
The presence of transgender and gender nonconforming youth at NYC Pride March is latest effort to increase visibility of the transgender community.
June 26, 2014 -- Updated 2227 GMT (0627 HKT)
A new ad by the hair care company Pantene asks why women are always apologizing and raises the question of whether women say "sorry" more often than men.
June 26, 2014 -- Updated 0048 GMT (0848 HKT)
The American Academy of Pediatrics announced new guidelines this week urging doctors to tell parents to read to their infants and toddlers.
June 28, 2014 -- Updated 1227 GMT (2027 HKT)
David Martinez grew up thinking he was just an average American kid. When he learned he was undocumented immigrant, it made him re-examine his beliefs about Mexican identity.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 1747 GMT (0147 HKT)
A new survey says that working fathers, like working mothers, find it hard to balance work and family.
June 20, 2014 -- Updated 1029 GMT (1829 HKT)
Jenny Mollen has no issue tweeting her breastfeeding. The new author talks motherhood and having a (more) famous husband
June 19, 2014 -- Updated 2120 GMT (0520 HKT)
Experts say "mean girl" behavior begins as young as elementary school. Here's how to prevent raising a mean girl.
June 13, 2014 -- Updated 2240 GMT (0640 HKT)
While dads today don't get the same respect and attention as moms, and are often depicted as clueless, they've come a long way, baby.
June 18, 2014 -- Updated 1850 GMT (0250 HKT)
North West, the 1-year-old daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, is already a social media darling due to her mom's active presence on Instagram. Now the child's new look is sparking some controversy online.
June 18, 2014 -- Updated 2048 GMT (0448 HKT)
In this celebrity mecca, where the issue usually is "Who's your daddy," actor Jason Patric is engaged in a court fight that raises an even thornier question: What is a daddy?
June 20, 2014 -- Updated 2033 GMT (0433 HKT)
If you weren't part of the "cool club" in middle school, you may have an extra spring in your step after hearing about a new study, which could be titled "Revenge of the Nerds."
cnn, parents, parenting, logo
Get the latest kid-related buzz, confessions from imperfect parents and the download on the digital life of families here at CNN Parents.
ADVERTISEMENT