For the first time in Infinite Body Piercing’s almost-twenty-five-year history, we are now piercing kids’ ears! Why did we wait so long to offer this service? Quite simply, until recently we weren’t allowed to.
Philadelphia body art regulations currently state, “It is prohibited to perform tattooing or body piercing on any body part of a person under the age of sixteen (16) except when prescribed by a physician’s statement.” This is the reason we have never been able to offer piercing services to anyone under 16 years of age. When Philadelphia piercing regulations became law in 2002, they were specifically intended to cover the newly popular practice of body piercing only, and purposefully did not seek to regulate jewelry stores that offered ear piercing—such as Claire’s Boutique and other stores that you often see at shopping malls. To ensure this didn’t unduly impact ear-piercing-only studios, ear piercing was specifically exempted from these regulations.
For years this exception was interpreted as only applying to ear-piercing stores. It came as a big surprise to us when, in an email exchange several months ago with the Environmental Engineering Office of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, we were told the office was now operating under a new interpretation: The exception for ear piercing was now considered to cover all ear piercing, even what we offered at our studio. With this news, we were free to offer a whole new service to a whole new type of client!
The news was met with excitement, but reservations as well. How would we implement it? How would we integrate this new service into the culture of the studio? After much back-and-forth between the staff, we have introduced our brand-new-for-2018 protocol for kids’ earlobe piercing:
For children aged 8 to 12 years old, we pierce earlobes only, by appointment. (To book an appointment, go here.) Why a cutoff at 8 years old? In talking to our peers at other studios who already offer this service, this is the age where we feel kids are mature enough to request the piercing themselves, can understand the process, and are able to handle the responsibility of aftercare. We do not offer ear piercing services to children younger than 8 years old at this time.
In addition to earlobe piercings, we are now offering outer ear cartilage piercings to clients aged 13 to 15, without an appointment—just come in! As we always have, we also offer an expanded selection of piercings to minors aged 16 and 17 (see more info here), as well as full piercing services to all adults 18 years and older.
Why are we now offering younger kids’ earlobe piercings by appointment only? For several reasons:
We can get busy. Really busy, especially on weekends. We want to make sure we can spend the time with our young clients (and their parents), and give them and their piercing all the attention needed, without the stress of a lobby full of additional clients.
Secondly, our studio caters to adults. Last year, nipple piercings accounted for 20% of our total piercing numbers, and we perform genital piercings at least once a day on average. We are passionate about letting people make their own choices about their bodies, and part of that is celebrating their sexuality and sexual identity. While comprehensive sex education is undoubtedly important, it should be age-appropriate, and not every parent is ready to answer questions about some of the artwork we have on our walls (link NSFW). A big part of having kids in by appointment is helping them (and their parents) navigate through what is a decidedly adult space.
That being said, we are all incredibly excited to now offer ear piercing services to our younger clients. For years, we’ve been sending them to our friends Johnross at Mean Street Tattoos in Bensalem, and Sarah Morgan at Black Cat Collective in Perkasie. While we still wholeheartedly recommend their services, and thank them for being our go-to referrals for years for kids’ ear piercings, we are happy to finally be able to offer this service, in-house, to our own clients.
If you’re thinking of bringing your child in for an ear piercing, first please check out all the information outlined on our site first. We will need specific IDs from both the the parents or guardians, in addition to ID for the child. For earlobe piercing for kids ages 8 to 12, we do require an appointment. All appointments are made through the kids’ ear appointments page on our site. We hate turning away clients, but we need very specific paperwork before we can perform any procedure, especially on minors.
As always, if you have any questions, about either kids’ ear piercings or ID protocol, give us a call before you make the trip.