An angry mum blasted a jewelry retailer after her seven-year-old daughter landed up in hospital when the back of her earring got stuck in her ear and she had to have it scooped out using a scalpel.
Suzie Nisbet says that when her daughter Lily’s ears were pierced she was assured by staff at popular UK Jewelry chain, Claires Accessories that she could safely change her earrings after just three weeks, as long as she used their own-brand cleaning solution, as reported in the Daily Mail.
Ms Nisbet said that she cleaned Lily’s ears three times a day for a month, her daughter was in severe pain after changing her earrings.
The concerned mum assumed that the butterfly backing had fallen off while Lily slept but when a nurse friend visited, she advised Ms Nisbet to take Lily to get checked out – suspecting that the ear had become infected.
The Butterfly Was Embedded In Her Ear
Lily spent four hours in the hospital in Essex in an attempt to extract the butterfly which had embedded itself into the back of her ear.
The poor girl was in such intense pain that it took two nurses, one to remove it and one to hold her down, to successfully get it out.
Ms Nisbet said: ‘I’m really furious with Claire’s Accessories. I trusted them as a global brand when they said the earrings could be changed in three weeks and then this happens.
‘In hospital there was nothing I could do for Lily, all I could do was hold her hand and try to make her giggle. I felt so helpless, I just felt like crying.
‘I felt so guilty as I was the one who’d taken her there to get them done. If I could have gone through it for her, I would have done.’
We Assumed We Would Need Six Week’s Healing Time
The mum-of-three had taken Lily to the shop to see whether they had time to get her ears pierced before going back to school – assuming she would need six weeks’ healing time.
But Lily was thrilled to hear that she could safely take them out in as little as three weeks if she used a special cleaning solution.
Ms Nisbet said: ‘The school she goes to doesn’t tolerate any piercings, they’re strict like that, so her ears needed to be healed by the time she went back to school.
‘I didn’t think we’d have time before then but I said I’d ask.
‘I was told that with this particular solution they would be healed within three weeks. I did think it was quick, but I didn’t question it as Claire’s is a reputable store and I trusted them.
‘Lily was absolutely delighted. She’s a real girly girl and was on top of the world when she had them done as she’d wanted them pierced for such a long time.
‘She was very proud of them and loved showing them off. I also bought three pairs of sterling silver earrings for her to put in when she could change them, she was thrilled.’
The mum said that it was about a week after changing the earings that her right ear showed signs of infection.
She said: ‘Three weeks to the day after she got her ears pierced, Lily was keeping count, she really wanted to put a new pair of earrings in.
‘On the day we took them out they looked ok, they weren’t weeping, so we put the new ones in.
‘About a week after that she came downstairs complaining that it felt weird and we noticed there was some weeping.
‘We didn’t think it was possible for the back to get stuck in her ear due to the size of it and searched her bed to try and find it.
‘I couldn’t push the earring back or forwards, it was absolutely horrible.
‘She was screaming every time I tried to remove it, at this point I didn’t realise the back was still in there, I thought the lump was an infection.
‘My friend who’s a nurse came round for lunch. She took one look at her ear and said it was the back of her earring in her ear.
‘I felt absolutely terrible, so guilty, as I’d spent three days trying to tug it out.’
They Had To Use A Scalpel To Get It Out
Ms Nisbet described the horrific hospital visit:
‘They gave her a local anaesthetic and then she was just puffing away on gas and air. They had to get another nurse in to hold her down as Lily kept trying to swipe her away. They tried to prise it out but it wasn’t coming.
‘At that point they said it was too embedded and that she would need to use a scalpel. Those 20 minutes felt like four hours, it was so traumatising for us all.
‘When the needle went into her ear it obviously really hurt her as it was so sensitive and she screamed out. She was then properly crying too, it was horrendous.
‘When the anaesthetic kicked in the nurse got the scalpel and had to re-open the wound and pop it out.
‘She just threw it into this bowl then the front came out and that was it. They then cleaned it up and put a plaster on it, thankfully it didn’t need stitches, and has healed really well.
‘It was horrific watching her go through such agony.
‘My son Charlie was with us. They normally fight like cat and dog and but he held her hand throughout it, he was so sweet.’
Ms Nisbet has vowed never to step foot in a Claire’s Accessories store again and is now urging the chain not to encourage customers to change ear piercings in just three weeks.
‘This was bad advice given by a name I trusted. I don’t know why they are pushing the three-week healing process guidelines. A piercing is a wound and needs at least six weeks to heal.
‘I feel very disappointed in Claire’s Accessories – we were such good customers but not any more.’
Lily is now ‘back to her normal self but she’s adamant she’s not getting her ears pierced again anytime soon.’
A spokesperson for Claire’s Accessories said: ‘Our piercing procedure and all of our piercing instruments, supplies and earrings are designed to promote the safest and most hygienic piercing experience.
‘The rapid after care lotion is dermatologist and paediatrician tested for the effective care of the pierced ear. Three weeks of use is an appropriate and approved length of time.
‘The Rapid lotion is safe and allergy tested and its soothing formula is skin friendly.
‘If undue pain / swelling / redness occurs at any time, seek medical advice immediately. Do not remove studs before the relevant medical advice.’