- Injuries to the outer ear, ear canal or eardrum
Types of Ear Injuries
- Bruises and scratches of outer ear
- Blood clot of outer ear
- Ear canal bleeding due to scratch of ear canal. This can be caused by cotton swab, fingernail, or ear exam.
- Punctured eardrum due to long-pointed objects. Examples are cotton swabs, pencils, sticks, straws, or wires.
When to Call Us for Ear – Injury
Call Us Now (night or day) If:
- You think your child has a serious injury
- Bleeding won’t stop after 10 minutes of direct pressure
- Skin is split open or gaping and may need stitches
- Upper part of the ear is very swollen
- Pointed object was put into the ear canal
- Clear fluid is draining from the ear canal
- Walking is not steady
- Pain is SEVERE and not improved 2 hours after taking pain medicine
- Age under 1 year old
- You think your child needs to be seen urgently
Call Us Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If:
- You think your child needs to be seen, but not urgently
- Few drops of blood in the ear canal. Caused by a minor injury, cotton swab (Q-tip) or ear exam.
- Injury causes an earache or crying lasts more than 30 minutes
- Hearing is less on injured side
Call Us During Weekday Office Hours If:
- You have other questions or concerns
- No tetanus shot in over 5 years for DIRTY cuts
- No tetanus shot in over 10 years for CLEAN cuts
Parent Care at Home If:
- Minor ear injury
Care Advice for Ear – Injury
- For any bleeding, put direct pressure on the wound.
- Use a gauze pad or clean cloth.
- Press for 10 minutes or until the bleeding has stopped.
- Wash the wound with soap and water for 5 minutes.
- For cuts and scrapes, use an antibiotic ointment such as Polysporin. No prescription is needed.
- Put it on the cut 3 times a day.
- Do this for 3 days.
- Cover large scrapes with a Band-Aid. Change daily.
- To help with the pain, give acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen. Use as needed. See Dose Table.
What to Expect:
- Minor ear wounds heal quickly.
- Most often, cuts and scrapes heal in 2 or 3 days.
Call Your Doctor If:
- Pain becomes severe
- Your child becomes worse