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Ear Tag: How to Care for Your Child

An ear tag is a soft, painless bump just in front of the ear. It is usually the same color as the skin around it. It may look like a mound, or it may attach to the skin on a thin stem. The ear tag develops when a baby is still forming in the womb.

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  • Do not try to remove the ear tag at home.

  • Do not put anything on the area around the ear tag unless your health care provider directed you to.

  • Your child should not scratch, tug, or pull on the ear tag. You may need to put mittens on your child.

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The tag:

  • becomes red, sore, or swollen

  • starts to bleed or ooze fluid

  • gets bigger

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Is an ear tag a sign of a problem? Ear tags usually do not indicate a problem. Occasionally, children with ear tags can have hearing loss or other health problems. If your child has not had a newborn hearing test, the health care provider may order one. Depending on the physical exam and the family's medical history, the health care provider may order other tests.

Do ear tags need treatment? If a tag is large or bothersome, or your child doesn't like the way it looks, a health care provider can remove it. Otherwise it can be left alone.

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