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What to Do if Your Child Puts Objects in Their Ear

ENT doctor

Children often insert foreign objects into their ears, which can be hard and dangerous to remove. The ear canal is a tube of solid bone that is lined with thin, sensitive skin. Any object rubbing against the skin can be very painful for the child, causing them distress, dizziness, nausea and potential deafness.

So, what do you do if your child has inserted something into their ear?

First Aid

Calm and reassure the child to the best of your ability. If the object is sticking out, gently take a hold of it with tweezers or your fingers and slowly remove it. At no point should you insert another object into the ear canal to try to remove it, you could push the initial object in deeper and do far more harm than good. The most common cause of a perforated eardrum is inserting a foreign object inside the ear canal. Do not pour any liquid into the ear, it could cause the foreign object to swell, causing even worst damage. Do not expect anything to fall out of its own accord. If a foreign object is left on the inside of the ear, the child could experience nausea, dizziness or even develop an infection, necessitating further medical attention.

Call a doctor

In many cases, you will not be able to help. You will need a doctor who can use special instruments to examine the ear and safely remove the object from the ear canal. Even if you are able to remove the object safely yourself, there will be the chance pieces of it are still lodged deeper in the canal. You should consult a doctor, even if you have successfully removed the object yourself.

If any pieces of the foreign object were able to avoid removal, you risk damage to the eardrum which could be serious, and cause everything from temporary deafness to vertigo to general irritation in the child.


For most foreign objects in the ear, removal presents no problem or concerns after

their removal. If you tried to remove it yourself, there may have been some damage done. For example, if you used tweezers or a cotton swab to try to pry it out, you may have torn the eardrum, which can cause temporary hearing loss. Although the eardrum typically heals on its own in approximately two months, surgery can sometimes be deemed necessary by a medical professional.

Find a Doctor

To reduce pain and prevent other long-term effects on the ear, medical care is recommended.  With over ten years experience in treating ear infections, Dr. Nguyen can provide the professional and personal attention you need.

If your child has put foreign objects in his or her ear, please contact our office and schedule an appointment.  Contact us or fill out our assessment form.

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