Dr Christian slams baby ear piercings: ‘It’s child abuse, just like FGM’

Dr Christian Jessen has sparked a debate on Twitter after slamming the act of piercing a baby’s ears as child abuse - but do you agree?

Dr Christian slams baby ear piercings: ‘It’s child abuse, just like FGM’

by Kayleigh Dray |
Published on

Earlier today, Closer Online asked whether or not parents should be allowed to pierce their baby’s ears.

And, while the topic was clearly a divisive one, Dr Christian Jessen (of Embarrassing Bodies fame) knew exactly what he thought of the idea.

He tweeted firmly: “No. It is child abuse.”

His comments sparked an outcry, with one person replying firmly: “It could e cultural. You need to watch what you say.

“I had my ears pierced as a child.”

Not to be deterred, however, Dr Christian replied: “Ah, that old chestnut. FGM [Female Genital Mutilation] is ‘cultural’ according to some. Best leave that alone too?”

Clearly uncomfortable by the topic, they fired back: “No. I obviously don't agree with FGM.

“But ear piercing... hmm. I never thought it unethical of my parents.”

She added: “FGM and ear piercing are totally different. It's a silly comparison quite frankly.”

Dr Christian responded coolly: “But you claimed culture as a reason not to meddle.

“I showed you the nonsense in that argument.”

It seemed as if Dr Christian had an answer for everything.

When told that children have no choice in whether or not they have injections either, he snapped: “Er… ear piercing doesn’t cure illnesses or save lives though.”

And, when someone said that the child could always remove their earrings at a later date (suggesting this meant it was NOT child abuse), Dr Christian sarcastically replied: “And broken bones will always heal, I suppose. Jeez.”

His words echo that of our original debate on Closer, in which one of our writers argued: “These little tots are too young to vote, too young for tattoos, too young to make any decisions about their body and they rely on their parents to look after them.

“So why on earth would any mother or father think it's acceptable to take their baby and have their ears pierced?”

The writer arguing against them responded: “I had my ears pierced as a baby and have never held a grudge against my mother. In our German culture, it is relatively normal for a baby girl to get her ears pierced, and it would have been more unusual not to.

“I did not experience infection or injury, and certainly don’t remember the pain as any kind of traumatic experience.”

It is worth pointing out that the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) have said that there is very little risk, at any age, if the piercing is performed carefully and cared for conscientiously.

However most medical professionals do recommend waiting until a child is old enough to take care of the piercing herself, for purely practical reasons.

Is it child abuse to have a baby's ears pierced?

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