Unfortunately, bullying is a common phenomenon these days. Many children are picked on for seemingly insignificant reasons (such as physical appearance) at school or on the playground every day. Adults aren’t exempt from this either; they often make unkind statements about a child’s appearance without thinking. While it’s easy to tell kids to just ignore hurtful comments, bullying can cause long-term psychological harm, the extent of which is unknown. Some children handle bullying better than others, but those who are tormented by their peers often withdraw and become less outgoing. A common attribute many young children are teased for is ears that stick out or have some sort of deformity. According to Medical News Today, as many as 20-30% of newborn babies are born with “deformities of the external ear.” So what should you do if your child is being relentlessly teased for ear deformities?
Options for Children Who Are Bullied
Always communicate with your son or daughter about how they are feeling. If they’re being bullied, take steps to help prevent the incidents, and listen to your child’s concerns. If it seems like the teasing is having a profound effect on your child’s well-being, you might consider surgical help.
The Otoplasty Procedure
Otoplasty is a common ear-shaping surgery which can include pinning back the ears, reconstruction, or correcting deformities. While most cosmetic surgery procedures should not be performed until adolescence at least (such as rhinoplasty), otoplasty can be performed on children as young as four years old. This is because a child’s ears mature quickly, and won’t change much after a few years. Otoplasty surgery can help children regain confidence and feel secure in their appearance. In fact, having the surgery at an early age is often recommended as it can spare children the years of teasing and name calling – think “Dumbo” and “Mickey Mouse” – that often result from having large or protruding ears.
Want to Explore Your Options for Ear Surgery?
While plastic surgery certainly isn’t called for in every instance of bullying, it might be worth considering if your child has been deeply affected by hurtful comments about their ears. If you feel your child would benefit from otoplasty, it’s extremely important to select a reputable, board-certified facial plastic surgeon to help you with your decision.