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    Comment and Opinion

    Is It Acceptable to Pierce a Baby's Ears?

    By Olivia Wydell, Year 10

    Baby with pierced ears

    Ear piercings in young children is extremely popular – even Kylie Jenner pierced her baby, Stormi’s, ears, but should it be so highly encouraged? After all, the child cannot give consent if they do not understand what is going and it is their own body and not the parent’s. Parents often pierce their children’s ears because it looks aesthetically pleasing but is this really reason to put a child through so much fear and pain?

    There have been petitions to have an age limit on ear piercings in the UK. Edward Timpson has called for a minimum legal age requirement to be introduced so it's illegal for babies and toddlers to get their ears pierced.

    A common misconception of child ear piercings is that it is completely safe and there are no risks, but there are several things that can go wrong when piercing a baby’sears, especially since they have such vulnerable immune systems.

    There is a risk of infection in the child’s ears, especially since their immune systems are weaker at a younger age. These minor infections can eventually turn into more serious infections caused by bacteria called pseudomonas and staphylococcus. There is also a theoretical risk of viral infections like hepatitis B, C, and HIV.

    Allergies can also become a problem; if metals like nickel or cobalt are used, there is a risk of an allergic reaction. This can be avoided by using a stainless steel or titanium needle. But even if this is checked by the parent, there is always a chance that a nickel or cobalt needle has been used, causing potential allergic reactions, and leading to possible complications.

    In my opinion, there should be a minimum age requirement for ear piercings, because children cannot give their consent. Furthermore, complications may arise which can cause the child harm, either mentally or physically; it is therefore more trouble than it is worth just to improve a child’s appearance. And if it is just for looks, shouldn’t a parent be happy with their child either way?

    I did a survey of opinions here at Wath, asking the question: “Do you think that it is acceptable to pierce a baby’s ears?” An overwhelming 80% said no.

    John Lewis Advert

    By Olivia Wydell, Year 10

    This year’s John Lewis advert - released on the 14th November – got 7.7 million views in the first week of its release. It may seem like a lot, but it is significantly less than last year’s advert, which was the most viewed Christmas ad of 2018. So what caused this unpopularity?

    The advert features a Christmas-loving, CGI dragon, Edgar and the plot revolves around him, his friend Ava, played by ten-year-old Ruby Dailly, and his struggle with his fire breathing abilities. He often loses control of it due to his enthusiasm for Christmas, which affects others who are also trying to celebrate; he melts a snowman, whilst attempting to help build it and burns down a Christmas tree in the town centre after it was decorated. This upsets him so he confines himself to his room until Ava coaxes him out, having come up with a plan. Together, they prove that his fire breathing can be put to good use, and the villagers, who were wary of him before, celebrated when he lit a Christmas pudding.

    The music, a vital aspect of any John Lewis advert, was a festive cover of Can’t Fight This Feeling’, sung by Dan Smith, the lead singer of Bastille.

    Most agree that John Lewis definitely didn’t disappoint with this year’s advert, from its lovable characters, to the detailed scenery and the uplifting theme that is always present in Christmas adverts. The Independent described it as “all very nice” and “perfectly lovely”.

    But not everyone shared the sentiment. Many have said that this advert hasn’t lived up to the high expectations that come with John Lewis’ Christmas ads. A RadioTimes article stated that it felt like “[unwrapping] a Nokia, when what I really wanted was a Blackberry”. John Lewis has even apologised for it, after it left some children “distraught”. A lot of people agreed that the advert was too emotional.

    What did you think to it?

    Kindness, Care and, of Course, Love

    By Thomas Armitage, Year 8

    Have you ever wondered how your actions can affect others, how every little thing can influence others...? No? Well, that can tell me a lot about you already.

    Even if you just smile or be polite for a second that can have an impact on other people around you and can also change behaviour in the slightest way possible, this act of politeness may pass down to whoever you give it to. Now, I know kindness isn’t an object, but, in my opinion, kindness, love and care is one of the strongest forces in the universe and can change a person or a life forever...