Ask the Doctor

Question #7:

Help! My teen keeps talking about getting her tongue pierced. What can I tell her to discourage her?

Answer:

Steven Stolz, MD, of Pediatric Specialists, a practice of CHKD Health System, says, “Kids are piercing their tongues, cheeks, lips, eyebrows, nostrils, belly buttons – you name it. So it’s important that everyone understands the risks. In general, teens live in the here and now, so describe risks in those terms. Piercing can cause infections, prolonged bleeding, scarring, skin allergies, abscesses or boils, irreversible holes, chipped or broken teeth, choking, a speech impediment and the life-threatening conditions of hepatitis B and C, tetanus and HIV. Remember the teen motto, ‘it won’t happen to me,’ during your discussion.”


All Questions

  1. My newborn seems to need something to suck on when she’s not eating. Her mouth is in constant motion. Is it OK to give her a pacifier?
  2. What’s an appropriate amount of television for a toddler to watch each day? I’m worried that my grandson is watching too much TV.
  3. Can weight lifting help overweight kids?
  4. My 8-year-old still sucks his thumb. I hate to pressure him to stop and don’t want to shame him, so what should I do?
  5. My teenage son received a paintball gun for his birthday, and I’m reluctant to let him play with it. Are paintball guns safe?
  6. I’m wondering when my child will be old enough to move from the crib to a single bed. Any guidelines I should know?
  7. Help! My teen keeps talking about getting her tongue pierced. What can I tell her to discourage her?
  8. My grandson was born with jaundice. Can you tell me what causes it and whether it’s serious?
  9. My 2-year-old can’t seem to get into a schedule of meals. She’s hardly ever hungry when it’s time for a meal, but other times she wants to eat all day long. I worry that her eating is too erratic and not healthy.
  10. Is it normal for my baby to hiccup a lot?
  11. What should I know about impetigo if my neighbor’s child has it and frequently plays with my child?
  12. My mother says that my 10-month-old daughter should wear hard-soled shoes to learn to walk. When should I start buying shoes for my baby, and what types are best?
  13. My child complains about sores in her mouth and our doctor says she has canker sores. What causes them?
  14. My teenage daughter thinks she’s fat, but she’s normal height and weight for her age. Should I be concerned she has an eating disorder?
  15. My teenage daughter has been told that cramps and nausea she gets after drinking milk or eating cheese or ice cream are due to lactose intolerance. Can you develop such a problem as you get older?
  16. When should my baby start seeing a dentist?