Splinting protruding ears to the head for a few days avoids psychological trauma and the need for surgery later, he says. The cartilage in a newborn's ear is malleable for a short time and the ears can be moulded.
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Bat ears in children can be avoided if a simple splint is applied at birth, according to David Gault, a plastic surgeon at Mount Vernon Hospital, Middlesex, who says he has successfully used this approach with 30 babies, including his own two chi ldren.