How many of us fear the day our daughters say, "Mum, can I have my ears pierced?"  How many of us remember the "allergies" and the infections and the unending "cleaning" that goes on for weeks after the piercing?  And the constant asking, "Can I change my earrings now?"
There are blue skies on the horizon!  Piercing these days generally includes stainless steel (surgical steel) earrings which don't cause any irritation which has been a major step in the right direction.  Secondly, and most importantly, we are no longer told to "turn the earrings daily."  What?  Won't they "grow" onto the ear?  No they don't.  Simply leave them alone for four weeks.  It's now known that the constant turning kept the inside of the ear raw and open to infection.  Once a day, dab the ear with cleansing lotion, supplied when the ears were pierced.  It's painless, quick and simple, even the smallest child can do it herself.  
In four weeks the inside of the ear will be healed and will have come away from the rod of the earring and it will slip out without bother.  I know this because I had my own ears pierced a year ago.  Then, some real children's earrings shopping can be done! 
 
The best value is sterling silver.  It won't cause irritation, it's a reasonable price, and the range of designs is massive, if you look online.  9 or 14K gold is next best but it's more expensive.  Towards Spring time, I'll be ordering some 14K screwback earrings that are just exquisite, in plenty of time for Christmas.  I'm so looking forward to putting them on the site.  The screwbacks are push on, unscrew off, and suitable for young children who might otherwise "play" with her earrings.  
I'm unsure why children's earrings aren't also made in surgical steel, like the ones that are used when ears are pierced.  But I've searched children's jewellery wholesalers the world over and can't find any.  
Perhaps people just like the idea of sterling silver or gold better?