Discovering that your child has an object lodged in their ear may leave you not knowing what to do. While it’s usually not a serious issue, ignoring it could potentially lead to ear canal injuries or hearing loss. Signs such as ear pain or crying, such as following an outing like a visit to Kelsey Creek Park, should prompt you to check for any foreign objects in their ears.
If you suspect that there’s something stuck in your child’s ear, there are a few steps you can follow to make attempts to remove it.
Steps to try:
- Tweezer Extraction: If the object seems easily accessible, carefully use tweezers.
- Water Flushing: Employ a bulb syringe filled with warm water to gently flush out the stuck object from the ear canal.
- Oil Flushing: In case the object is an insect, warm (not hot) baby oil, mineral oil or olive oil can be used. With the child’s head tilted so the affected ear faces upward, pour in the oil, and the insect should float out.
Remember, do not use water or oil if the child has ear tubes or if there’s a possibility of a ruptured eardrum. Bleeding, discharge or ear pain are indications of a ruptured eardrum. If you suspect a ruptured eardrum, you should seek medical attention, as left untreated, it can be painful and result in hearing loss.
Consulting a Doctor
While most foreign objects in the ear don’t cause severe damage, they can result in ear trauma and possibly hearing loss. Therefore, knowing when to seek professional help is crucial.
Contact a doctor if:
- You fail to remove the object on the first attempt. Further attempts might push the object deeper into the ear.
- There’s visible bleeding, discharge, signs of infection or if your child is in significant pain.
- The object is a battery, as it can leak harmful chemicals and should be removed by a professional immediately.
- You can’t see the object lodged in the ear.
It’s also important to remember to protect your child’s hearing in other ways. Once hearing is damaged, it cannot be recovered. So, ensure your child takes breaks from their louder toys and heeds any listening warnings on electronic devices.
A situation where your child appears to be in pain can be stressful. However, remember that foreign objects in the ear are not always a cause for alarm. By following these guidelines, you’ll be equipped to handle such incidents effectively.
For questions about hearing or to schedule a hearing test, contact Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinic.