Ear checks can be difficult with young children particularly if they have sensory difficulties, behavioral concerns, and/or autism. The following are a couple strategies to try to make the process less upsetting and difficult.
- Set up a reward system ahead of time. For example, earning a small toy, sticker, activity of their choice with a parent for no yelling or hitting when getting their ear examined.
- Try using a distraction such as a tablet, playing music, or having an item that they can fidget with.
- If you know your child has an ear exam coming up you can help them feel more comfortable about the exam by practicing at home first by pretending to check your ears and then practicing on them (you may have to practice an ear check in steps for example, the first time touching them on their arm, then their face by their ear and working your way up to touching their ear).
- Use a count down timer for them to visualize how long the ear exam will last.
- Teach your child how to take a few belly breathes to help him/her self soothe.
- If your child has sensory issues a weighted blanket may be helpful in making your child feel calmer and safe during the procedure.