It can happen! Insects may fly or crawl into the ears and become lodged inside the ears of a child who is playing outdoors. Insects can even enter a child’s ears when he or she is sleeping. If luck is on the child’s side, the insect naturally dies after entering the ear. In some cases, it may remain alive. When it’s alive, it will try to work its way back out of the ear.
Foreign bodies in your child’s ears or more specifically, an insect inside your child’s ear can cause ear pain and great discomfort. With that in mind, it is much easier for adults to know if there is an object is stuck in their ear. Children, however, may not be aware of it. You should pay extra attention when your child starts to put his or her finger ear to ‘dig’ something out, along with squinting facial expressions. It is rare, but in severe cases, objects that get lodged in the ear may cause hearing loss. If you do find out that there is an insect inside your child’s ear, you can follow these steps:
Calm Your Child Down
Before you begin the cleansing process, you should get them to stay calm (make sure you’re calm yourself too) by giving them the re-assurance they need. Prevent them from panicking any further by helping them lean over or lie on a flat surface. Ensure the affected ear is facing upward.
Attempt to Wash the Insect Out
Sometimes, it’s possible to irrigate the insect out of the canal, with warm water and a bulb ear syringe. Make sure that there are no ear tubes are in place and that the eardrum is not perforated as well.
Try Using Oil when Dealing with an Insect
You can choose to pour baby oil, olive oil or mineral oil into your child’s ear to float the insect out. The oil should be warm and not hot. Try to straighten the ear canal so that you can ease the entry of the oil. Next, pull the earlobe backward and downward. This should suffocate the insect and it will float out in the oil bath. Remember to never use oil to remove other objects other than an insect. If there are any signs of discharge, bleeding or pain from the ear, stop what you’re doing and seek medical assistance right away.
Remove the Insect If Possible But Never Probe the Ear with a Tool
If the insect is clearly pliable, visible and can be grasped easily with tweezers, you may gently remove it. Other tools like matchsticks and cotton swabs are not recommended and you should not probe the insect with them as they may push the insect farther into the ear. There are fragile structures located in the middle ear.
Follow Up with a Medical Professional
If the methods above fail or your child continues to experience discomfort and pain in the ear, a feeling of something stuck in the ear or even reduced hearing, do seek medical assistance immediately. Yes, you must also make an appointment with an ENT doctor after attempting the removal techniques above. All in all, you need to ensure that you did not damage the inside of the ear during the course of removal.