I got this message from a piercer who is concerned about her clients:
I was wondering what are your thoughts on healing time on navel Piercings? At the shop i work at we have ton of parents with minors getting their navels pierced and plan on swimming at lakes,pools, hot tubs. We try and educate them as much as we can but I feel like it's not getting through to them even college-adults aren't listening to our advice is there any suggestion on what we should do? (we talk to them about it first then hand out the basic care information.
I describe the healing time for navel piercings as 6-9 months. They're likely to have some ups and downs and seem healed off and on within that time, but they can expect to be in an ongoing healing phase for an extended period of time.
Yeah, that's a tough one. As they say, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make 'em drink" so you must do your best to provide the information and hope that they listen. One thing you can do is to focus on your care information and try to present it like it is the most important thing in the world (and as though you've never said it before). When we rattle it off without thinking or caring, it makes it easier for the clients to not think or care either! It is HARD day after day, but it is crucial, and it is our responsibility.
Something I did was to sell waterproof bandages in my studio. That way, when I was advising them to cover the piercing before going swimming, I was also providing them with the means to do so.
I'd also give a pitch after the piercing that goes something like this: "That piercing is on your body, but because I performed it for you, my reputation is on the line, so we're in this together. If you don't take care of it, that can reflect badly on me, so I need you to follow the instructions I gave you as a commitment to me. I made the commitment to you to place it well on your body, put in appropriate, high quality jewelry, and instruct you on the aftercare, now it is up to you to honor your commitment to me by taking care of it."
Couldn't hurt. ; )
These are the care guidelines I advocate from the Assocaiation of Professional Piercers: http://www.safepiercing.org/piercing/body-aftercare/