Kids do the strangest things. Many parents have stories about trips to the emergency room to remove something their child swallowed, stuck up their nose, or inserted in an ear. Inserting foreign objects in the ear can carry serious repercussions for your child’s hearing, but there are many other ways they can damage their hearing as well. Here are some areas to watch for and how to prevent them.
Inserting an Object in the Ear
Your kids see you using cotton swabs in your ear and they want to try it too. Inserting something into the ear is one of the more common ways children can damage their hearing. The best prevention here is proper education, and that cotton swab can be your friend. Show your children the proper way to use a cotton swab and take that opportunity to talk to them about why they should never put anything in the ear cavity.
You bundle them up when they go outside, but in colder months, the risk of ear infection is ever present. This can be caused not just by the cold wind and elements, but bacteria or viruses from a cold or flu backing up into the ear canal. Results can range from mild discomfort to the possibility of a ruptured eardrum. Keep the ears as dry and warm as you can, and if your child develops a cold or flu, make sure he or she is treated immediately. See your child’s pediatrician if you believe an ear infection has developed.
Blows to the Head
Fall is great time for outdoor activities and sports. Part of childhood is learning how to operate this complex system of bones and muscles, and this often takes place when children are active and exercising. Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and a blow directly to the head or ear can rupture the eardrum or damage the inner ear. Take precautions by having your child wear a helmet when riding a bicycle or playing in sports where a blow to the head is likely. But if your child does take a hit on the head or ear, it may be time to visit the doctor for a checkup.