In this section...

Is Your Child Sick? TM


Ear - Injury

Is this your child's symptom?

  • Injuries to the outer ear, ear canal or eardrum

Types of Ear Injuries

  • Cut or Scratch. Most cuts of the outer ear do not need sutures.
  • Bruise. Most bruises of the outer ear just leave a purple mark. They heal on their own.
  • Blood Clot (Serious). Most of the outer ear is made of cartilage. A large blood clot (hematoma) can cut off the blood supply to the cartilage. It needs to be drained. If not, the ear may become deformed (boxer's ear).
  • Ear Canal Bleeding. Most are due to a scratch of ear canal. This can be caused by cotton swab, fingernail, or ear exam. Most stop bleeding on their own. Persistent bleeding needs to be seen.
  • Punctured Eardrum. Most are due to long-pointed objects put in the ear canal. Examples are cotton swabs, pencils, sticks, straws, or wires.
  • Loss of Hearing (Serious). Caused by blunt trauma, such as a slap to the ear. Also, caused by explosions.

When to Call for Ear - Injury

When to Call for Ear - Injury

Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

  • 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
  • Severe pain and not improved 2 hours after taking pain medicine
  • Age under 1 year old
  • You think your child has a serious injury
  • You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • 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
  • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Call Doctor During Office Hours

  • Dirty cut and no tetanus shot in over 5 years
  • Clean cut and no tetanus shot in over 10 years
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Minor ear injury

Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

  • 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
  • Severe pain and not improved 2 hours after taking pain medicine
  • Age under 1 year old
  • You think your child has a serious injury
  • You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • 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
  • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Call Doctor During Office Hours

  • Dirty cut and no tetanus shot in over 5 years
  • Clean cut and no tetanus shot in over 10 years
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Minor ear injury

Care Advice for Minor Ear Injuries

  1. Bleeding - How To Stop:
    • 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.
  2. Clean the Wound:
    • Wash the wound with soap and water for 5 minutes.
  3. Antibiotic Ointment:
    • 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 bandage (such as Band-Aid). Change daily.
  4. Pain Medicine:
    • To help with the pain, give an acetaminophen product (such as Tylenol).
    • Another choice is an ibuprofen product (such as Advil).
    • Use as needed.
  5. What to Expect:
    • Minor ear wounds heal quickly.
    • Most often, cuts and scrapes heal in 2 or 3 days.
  6. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Pain gets severe
    • You think your child needs to be seen
    • Your child becomes worse

And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.

Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.


Copyright 2000-2018. Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC.

Visual Symptom Checker

Is Your Child Sick?TM

New @ Delaware Peds

  • Well Visit

    Please take the time to contact us to schedule your child’s well visit. This will help to ensure that your child’s visit will occur in a timely fashion, and that any necessary forms for school or sports will be completed well ahead of deadlines. Please note: Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA) forms must be completed on or after April 1st in order to participate. These forms may be based on a physical examination conducted within 12 months of the signature. The clearance is valid through June 30 of the following school year. Please let our staff know at the time of your child’s visit that you need a form completed.
     
  • Flu shots available at both office locations

    We are now scheduling flu shots at both office locations.
     
  • Enter our family car magnet campaign today!

    Enter our car magnet "Families that Play Together Stay Together" campaign for a chance to win a membership or experience at one of several regional attractions.
     
  • Getting Kids to Eat More Fruits and Veggies

    Here is some sound advice about how to get kids to eat more fruits and vegetables.
     
  • Weekend Emergency Visits

    We are available on both Saturday and Sunday mornings, by appointment, for urgent sick visits. Please call in the morning, between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., if you are interested in a sick appointment on a weekend.  Please leave a message, and one of our staff will return your call within a reasonable period of time.   Please avoid 'walking in' without an appointment.
     

North Wilmington Office
1409 Foulk Rd | Wilmington , DE 19803
Phone: 302-762-6222 | Fax: 302-764-6058
Office Hours | View Map

Appoquinimink Office
3920 South DuPont Pkwy | Townsend, DE 19734
Phone: 302-449-2570 | Fax: 302-449-2573
Office Hours | View Map

Copyright © 2018 Delaware Pediatrics. All rights reserved.