Among the scariest emergency scenarios for your baby is when a nasty insect crawls into his ear. Your baby is absolutely defenseless against such an assault and you’re probably unequipped and inexperienced to do anything about it either. What should you do?

How to Know if an Insect is in Your Baby’s Ear

First of all, how do you know there’s an insect in your baby’s ear? Definitely, your baby won’t be able to speak and tell you plainly about the problem. And yet, often it’s easy to tell. If your baby suddenly cries wildly without any apparent reason, it’s probably an insect in the ear.

Or, if you see the presence of other insects on the crib or bed–like ants–it is likely that an insect (or an ant, for instance) has managed to find its way into your baby’s ear. Ants, most especially, make an appearance when something sweet, like milk powder or baby food, gets carelessly spilled on the crib bed.

So, at the first sound of a wild cry, what most experienced moms check out is the baby bed–particularly if there are insects or ants lying around. Another sign would be if there are insects on the baby’s clothes and then the baby’s body, especially in the neck and ear areas.

What to Do

So what do you do when you’re highly suspicious that an insect has managed to sneak into your baby’s ear? First, you get a penlight and shoot a beam into the baby’s ear. Or, gently open the ear and turn it to where it directly faces a light source, like a ceiling light. See if there is any sign of the insect in the ear.

If there is, then insects sometimes naturally move toward a light source. Ants sometimes do. Just wait for them to come out and grab them once they are within reach. The bad news is if they seem to go inward. Some insects feel more comfortable in the dark, like mosquitoes. If this is the case, what should you do?

First, never attempt to poke the insect with anything (with your finger, cotton buds or swabs, or the tip of a handkerchief). This would only drive the insect farther inward and cause greater damage there.

Instead, while preparing to rush your kid to the nearest clinic or hospital, put a small drop of baby oil into the affected ear. This usually kills the insect, drowning it in oil and making it unable to move further or breathe. Now that you have stopped the insect’s activity, you can safely rush the baby to the doctor. You may do the same thing to toddlers or older kids with the same problem.