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First Aid and Emergencies

Objects in the Ear

Home Treatment - When to Call a Health Professional

Children sometimes put small objects in their ears, or an insect may crawl into the ear. It may be hard to know if an insect is in the ear. Your child may say, "My ear is bumping around."

Home Treatment

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  • Don't try to kill an insect inside a person's ear. Pull the ear up and back and point it toward the sun or a bright light. Insects are attracted to light, so the insect may crawl out.

  • If the insect doesn't crawl out, fill the ear canal with mineral, olive, or baby oil. The insect may float out.

  • To remove other objects from the ear, tilt the person's head to the side and shake it gently. Gently pulling the ear up and back may straighten the ear canal and help dislodge the object.

  • If the object is soft and can be easily seen, try carefully to remove it with tweezers. Do not try this if the person will not hold very still or if the object is in the ear so far that you can't see the tips of the tweezers. Use care not to push the object in farther.

When to Call a Health Professional

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Call if you cannot remove the insect or object.

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