Help! Something’s stuck in my child’s ear!

Toddlers and young children are famous for sticking things up their nose and down their ears – and more often than not it’s a piece of Lego or part of a toy. If you have kids, we’re willing to bet you’ll experience this at some stage, if you haven’t already.

The best thing you can do is be prepared and know how to deal with it. Depending on what’s stuck in Junior’s ear, here’s what you need to do once you’ve calmed them down and let them know they’ll be OK.

If it’s an OBJECT (like a piece of Lego):

  1. If the object is sticking out and looks like it’s easy to remove, try using your fingers or a pair of tweezers to pull it out.
  2. If the object’s really small, and you can’t see it, DON’T try and remove it by sticking tweezers down the ear – you could push it further down the canal and cause damage.
  3. Try tilting the head to one side, so the ear with the object in it is facing down. GENTLY shake the person’s head towards the ground, and see if it works to dislodge the object.
  4. If you can’t get the object out, it’s time to head to the doctor – they’ll have the right equipment to get it out.

If it’s an INSECT (this happens more often than you think!)

  1. Don’t stick your finger down the ear, as this could cause the insect to sting or bite, or push it further down the ear canal.
  2. Turn the head so the ear with the insect in it is facing up. Hopefully, it will fly or crawl out on its own!
  3. If it doesn’t, put a few drops of olive oil or baby oil down the ear. This will kill the insect and hopefully cause it to come out with the oil.
  4. If you can’t get the insect out, or even if you do get it out, it’s still important to head to the doctor to make sure all of it is out.
Read  Are you smart enough to be a doctor?

Most of the time, an object or insect can be removed without causing too much of a problem, however, if your child has any of the following symptoms then take them to a doctor as it could indicate significant trauma to the ear:

  • Pain
  • Ringing sounds
  • Dizziness
  • Hearing loss
  • Drainage, blood or pus from the ear

Sources: nlm.nih.govReal Clear Science