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Ear - Pulling At or Rubbing

Disponible En Espanol


Definition:

  • A child who pulls, tugs, pokes, rubs or itches the ear
  • No crying or report of ear pain

Causes

  • Main cause (infants): Normal touching and pulling with discovery of ears. This is usually not seen before 4 months of age.
  • Main cause (older children): Mild swimmer's ear. This can be caused by:
  • (1) water trapped during swimming or showers OR
  • (2) soap or shampoo OR
  • (3) cotton-tipped swabs.
  • Can also be caused by a piece of earwax in the ear canal.
  • Rubbing the ear is common in younger children (under age 2 or 3). Simple ear pulling without other symptoms such as fever or crying is harmless. These children rarely have an ear infection.

Disclaimer

The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

  • Not a Substitute - The information and materials in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker should not be used as a substitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you.
  • Supplement - The information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you -- it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing your child's medical problems.
  • Limitations - You should recognize that the information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:
    • You can have a conversation with your child's doctor.
    • Your child's doctor can perform a physical examination and any necessary tests.
    • Your child could have an underlying medical problem that requires a physician to detect.
    • If your child is taking medications, they could influence how he experiences various symptoms.

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