It’s a story that has been shared all over the world, with parents calling it ‘vile’, ‘disgusting’ and ‘child abuse’.

A video of a baby screaming in pain as she gets her ears pierced went viral last week, with more than 3.6 million views and 18,00 reactions - triggering a debate about whether or not it is right to pierce children’s ears.

The row was originally sparked after the short video, believed to have been filmed in America, was posted on the Facebook page ‘Piercings’, showing a woman holding her infant daughter still with a hand on her forehead while two people pierce her ears with guns - causing the child to burst into tears.

Outraged internet users wasted no time in taking to social media, expressing their disgust and calling for an age limit for youngsters getting their ears pierced.

Defence

Yet while the response was mostly overwhelmingly negative, there were some people that jumped to the mother’s defence, saying they didn't see the problem with it.

“This isn’t even a f****** big deal people get over yourself she’s not torturing the baby,” wrote one. Another said it was better to get them done early on while the baby was young.

In Lincoln earlier this month, mum Rebekah Musson defended her decision to pierce her four month old baby’s ears, even though it prompted some parents to call for a petition to make it illegal.

She said her child only cried for a split second and that she now ‘loves’ her earrings.

“My daughter loves her earrings and she sees herself as batman with pretty ears,” she said. “It’s much easier to get them done as a baby than when they’re older. Fact.

“She looks beautiful in her earrings, and she loves to change her earrings when mummy does and wears all different ones. She’s now two-and-a-half and has her own little jewellery box like mummy with lots of earrings in.”

Child abuse?

“I often get comments saying ‘aww aren’t her earrings cute’ and ‘oh I wish I got my daughter’s done’.”

“How that could be described as child abuse I have no idea. It hurt her for but a second and it really was that. She didn’t cry like the baby in the video. That was a bit extreme.”

So what’s the right answer? For some parents, the decision to pierce their baby’s ears is simple. On one hand there are parents who are adamantly against it, making the point that the baby is too young to decide for themselves.

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On the other side of the debate, there are the parents who feel that it’s within their rights to make these kinds of decisions for their children. Some reactions to the American video compared the controversy of baby ear piercing to the practice of circumcision on baby boys.

I don’t judge anyone who decides to pierce their baby’s ears. You are the parent and you are in charge of the decisions you make that affect your child’s life.

But I can’t lie that watching that tiny baby place all her trust in her parent for seconds later to be screaming in unbridled agony, isn’t difficult to watch.