Do your girls have earrings? Are you considering earrings for your daughter?
Well, read this first.
Do you ever have one of those horrible mama moments where you asked yourself "how the hell did I miss this??"
Yeah. I do.
When Mairead was about 2.5 she started asking for earrings. She would see mine and just drool over them. So, Kevin and I decided for her 3rd birthday, we would allow her to get earrings. She did great, never touched them, no infections, nothing. She flaunted her little diamond studs to anyone who would look.
Then, when Lilah turned 3, we allowed her to get earrings just like her big sister. Just like Mairead, she did very well. No problems, really...though, she chose diamond flowers, that would get caught in clothing, and sometimes fall out, but no infections or anything like that.
Fast forward a year and a few months later. Santa brought the girls some new earrings. He thought it had been long enough for the original studs to be in, so out came the original earrings and in went the new ones.
Well, everything was fine up until this morning. We were up and getting our morning started when Mairead scratched the back of her ear and there was crusty blood. I was surprised, she had never complained of any ear pain, and any time I've had bloody ears like that, my ear HURT.
|Kind of blurry, but you can see the backing|
imbedded in the back of her ear lobe.
I brought her downstairs to get a better look and when I really looked at her ear, I almost fell over with what I saw. The backing of her earring was almost completely imbedded in her earlobe. I was shocked. I asked if she had any pain and she said no. I didn't believe her. How did that not hurt? I sat there flabbergasted. I didn't know what to do, and that says a lot. It takes a lot to make me squeamish, but, I was afraid to touch her ear. I called Kevin almost in a panic, but I tried not to show Mairead how concerned I was with what I saw. I called our new pediatrician and they said to bring her in. I had 50 minutes to get four kids and myself dressed and ready. Mairead was nervous. She sensed my nervousness. I kept looking at her ear, but I just didn't know where to start.
|The hole in her ear after I removed the backing|
We went upstairs and the girls jumped in the shower. It was the best thing Mairead could have done. While she was in the shower, she admitted that she often played with the backing, making it tighter. After almost 3 years of never touching them, she started with her new earrings.
When she came out, I took a Q-tip and cleaned it up to see what was really going on with her ear. I could barely see the backing. I saw one little corner of the backing, but it was such a small piece, I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get my finger on it to pull it out. I tried once, but Mairead asked me not to do it, so I obliged. After all, I knew it was going to hurt. Bad. A few minutes later, she came back to me and asked to try again. You see, we had plans with a friend, and she knew if we went to the doctor, she'd miss her play date - gotta love ulterior motives in children. So, I attempted one more time. I cleaned it up, and took my left hand, and tried to put pressure on the lobe to force the backing to come to the surface more - I am not kidding when I say about 85% of the backing was imbedded. Then, with my right hand, I was able to grasp the corner of the visible backing with my thumb and forefinger. I pulled a little bit, and it came easily. I told Mairead I thought I could get it, and she told me I could continue. And there it was.
Her ear lobe started bleeding pretty bad, so I kept pressure on it for a few minutes. Mairead was so incredibly brave. Not one tear shed. I walked her through everything. And with not a few minutes to spare, she was saved of her playdate. I called the doctors and told them I was able to get it out myself.
When I really looked at the earring and backing, I saw the exact problem. Every time she played and tightened the backing, she bent the earring post, which made the backing dig into the back of her ear lobe. Also, you can see the backing in the photo below - it has flesh imbedded in the holes. Yes. It was really that gross. The poor kid. I am still in shock that she never once complained of pain, even when she noticed the dried blood.
|Can you see the flesh inside the backing? This shows just how deep the backing was in the lobe...and you can see the post on the earring is bent -|
Note to self: Never buy cheap earrings. And always remind them never to tighten the earrings themselves.
So, as a lesson to all you mammas out there - earrings are great for little kids, but can surely cause just a little bit of drama!!! Don't let my mistake be your mistake ;)