Angelina Jolie has been criticised for getting her six-year-old daughter's ears pierced. Zahara - who was adopted from Ethiopia - is said to have burst into tears during the procedure at a salon close to where the family are staying in South-West London. Jolie's five-year-old daughter Shiloh was also going to have her ears pierced, but when she saw her sister's distress she decided against it. Because Zahara is under 16, Jolie had to sign a parental consent form for the piercing. The treatment was priced at £10 (NZ$20), but the cost to Jolie's image could be a lot higher. Mothers immediately took to social networking sites to attack the star. One user called Misty, from Surrey, wrote: "To stick a needle in a young child's ears for the benefit of pleasing the parent (not the child, she hasn't asked for it) is abuse." Anna Collins added: "There are few things I find trashier than little babies with pierced ears. They're people, not little dolls. "Piercing a child's ears because YOU think it's cute is irresponsible and cruel if you ask me." The controversy comes just days after a report revealed hundreds of youngsters have been to hospital with infections after their parents encouraged them to wear earrings. In a report for the Scottish Medical Journal, child casualty specialist Dr Diana Macgregor of the Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital said she saw 52 children with painful problems caused by ear piercing in a single year. She urged parents to wait until their children were at least 15 before allowing them to have their ears pierced. She said: "Not only can it be a terrifying experience for infants but there are dangers of serious infection. "Infants are too young to make any decisions about piercing and parents should wait till their child is old enough. Infections occur because the children are too young to clean or care for the pierced sites." Jolie - a mother of six - is staying in Richmond with her children while partner Brad Pitt films zombie thriller World War Z in numerous locations across Britain.