There’s no denying that kids look cute in jewelry! A tiny pair of studs or a silver bracelet can make your baby or toddler look all grown-up. But as good jewelry may look on kids in photographs, it’s not necessarily practical for everyday life. There are a variety of concerns with kids wearing jewelry for an extended period, especially the younger they are. This is what parents should know before putting their baby or toddler in jewelry.
The Risks Of Young Kids & Jewelry
The younger your child, the more prone they are putting everything in their mouth. Babies and toddlers can’t understand the concept of germs. They’re curious and want to use their senses to explore their environment, which is how many things end up in their hands and then their mouth.
As cute as it may be to see your child in jewelry there are safety concerns parents need to be aware of, including the following risks.
If your child puts something small in their mouth, there’s a huge risk they can choke. Jewelry is notorious for featuring small pieces, like clasps and beads, which can easily come off, especially if your child is fidgeting with the jewelry or playing rough. Some manufacturers promise that their jewelry is child-proof and can’t break easily.
But Arnold Palmer Hospital warns there’s no guarantee this won’t happen. If you’re going to let your young child wear jewelry, make sure to choose pieces with as little few parts as possible to minimize the choking risk.
Additionally, wearing jewelry poses a risk of strangulation for young children. For example, if they’re wearing a necklace, it can become twisted around their neck or caught on something. Young children don’t have the same dexterity older kids and adults do, so your child may not be able to easily undo the necklace to free themselves. Arnold Palmer Hospital warns to never let a child go to sleep with jewelry on, especially necklaces.
In some cases, the material of the jewelry can be a hazard for the wearer. There have been reports of children suffering from lead poisoning after wearing poor-quality jewelry. Lead poisoning can lead to a variety of health complications, such as seizures, developmental delays, and learning disabilities.
Even if the manufacturer claims it was made with quality materials, there’s often no guarantee. If you are going to buy jewelry for your young child, be sure to purchase it from a reputable vendor that can authenticate the piece.
Getting caught on something
There’s a reason that jewelry isn’t allowed in sports. Not only is this to protect the jewelry, but also the person. It’s easy enough for a necklace or bracelet to get caught on something and cause a person to stumble, or for an earring to be ripped out of the ear and cause permanent damage.
Although your young child may not be participating in any sports game, these risks still exist. The more active and rougher a child is as they play, the more hazardous jewelry can be for them.
May lose the jewelry
Finally, there’s also the risk that your child may lose the jewelry. You can’t expect younger kids to understand the value of jewelry. You also can’t expect them to notice if the item falls off or to remember if they put it somewhere. Many adults are forgetful about jewelry, so you can expect young children to be even more so.
While losing a piece of jewelry isn’t going to harm your child, it can be disappointing, especially if the piece had a sentimental connection or was expensive.
If you’re buying jewelry for your young child, it should be made from quality material that won’t irritate their skin or wear down quickly. However, you should avoid buying very valuable pieces, like those featuring expensive gems, given the risk your child may lose it.
Best Age For Kids To Wear Jewelry
There’s no specific age at which a child can or cannot wear jewelry. Some people get their children’s ears pierced as a baby, whereas others prefer to wait until the child is older. Depending on who you ask, professionals have different recommendations about if and when young kids can wear jewelry. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against babies under one-year-old wearing jewelry.
They also suggest waiting to get your child’s ears pierced until they’re old enough to clean the piercing themselves (and to understand the importance).
For more information on young children wearing jewelry and to help you make a decision, we recommend speaking to your family doctor.
Sources: Arnold Palmer Hospital, First Aid Training, Mayo Clinic, Ovia,