This article explains how to clean your child’s ears. One of the most important questions you may have as a parent is how to safely clean your child’s ears.
While it’s natural to want your child’s ears to be clean, it’s important to know that too much of a good thing can cause damage to their sensitive ear canal.
Earwax is not pleasant, but it’s harmless and important in keeping your child’s ears healthy.
Most people know that your ears are important for hearing, but only a small percentage of people know that your inner ear is also important for keeping your body in balance.
Because your ears are such an important part of your body, you need to take good care of them.
How To Clean Your Child’s Ears
If your child’s earwax does not cause any symptoms but is present at the opening of the ear canal, you may be able to safely remove it from your child’s ears at home.
However, in more severe cases, it is important to consult with your child’s pediatrician.
In the following sections, you will find information on different methods on how to clean your child’s ears at home:
1. Do not try to dig it out
Do not try to remove excessive or hardened wax with available items such as paper clips, cotton swabs, and hairpins.
This can push the wax further into your child’s ear canal and cause severe damage to your child’s ear canal and eardrum lining.
You can also use an Earwax removal kit available in stores to remove wax buildup. Talk to your child’s doctor about how to properly choose and use alternative methods.
There is a saying that says, “Don’t put anything in your ear bigger than your elbow.” This is an impossible task in itself.
However, it is important to follow this rule because you do not want to create ear wax build-up or harm your child’s ears.
If you know of a parent who uses cotton swabs for their family as part of ear hygiene, please forward this article to them.
Let’s all keep our child’s ears clean!
2. Use a damp washcloth
Earwax removal is best done with a soft washcloth that has been soaked in warm water. Dip the washcloth in the warm water and gently squeeze it out to remove any excess water.
Use the washcloth to wipe around the outside of the baby’s ear to gently remove any excess earwax that has come out.
Most of the earwax will fall out naturally. The rest can be wiped off with the washcloth. Don’t push the washcloth into the ear canal.
You can take your child to the pediatrician and let them look at your child’s ears. The pediatrician may use a small tool to scrape out any wax inside the ear.
3. Consider using Eardrops
If there is a lot of build-ups, ear drops may be necessary. Before using ear drops, make sure you use the ones recommended by your child’s pediatrician.
Try to calm your child down and keep him occupied with some kind of activity. Otherwise, pick a time of day when your child is usually quiet and sleeping.
Hold the ear drops bottle in your palms to warm it up a bit. Put your baby down on your lap and place the blocked ear in front of you. Using an eyedropper, fill the bottle with the solution.
- Place the dropper near the baby’s ear.
- Drop the solution in small increments until the baby’s ear canal is completely filled.
- Let the solution settle inside the ear for a few minutes.
- Your baby may feel a strange sensation, so keep him calm.
- The ear drops soften the wax in your baby’s ear canal.
- The wax then flows out of your baby’s ear and into the water.
- Dip a washcloth in the warm water.
- Squeeze out the excess water.
- Clean up the excess drops and the oozing wax.
- Do not try to put washcloths inside baby ears.
- Repeat this treatment for at least 3 to 5 days as advised by your doctor.
4. Avoid using ear swabs or inserting your fingers
Cotton swabs should never be used to clean your child’s ears. When you put cotton swabs in the canal, they push most of the excess earwax deeper into the ear canal.
This can lead to ear irritation, earwax build-up, and even damage to the ear drum. Fingers should also not be used to remove or scratch earwax as it can irritate your child.
5. Ear tubes
Ear tubes are small metal or plastic tubes inserted into the middle ear to help remove fluid from the ear canal and allow air to enter the middle ear.
Ear tubes are also used to prevent fluid buildup behind the ear drum. Children who have persistent fluid build-up behind the ear drum may need ear tubes especially if it is causing hearing loss or affecting speech development.
If your child has frequent ear infections, ear tubes may be recommended by their doctor. Ear tubes are used for various conditions, including:
- Middle Ear Infection
- Otitis Media with effusion
- Chronic Middle Ear Infection
- Chronic Suppurative Otitis Media
- Left untreated, otitis media can cause hearing loss
- Balance problems
- Learning or speech delays
Ear tubes fall out of the ears on their own within 4 to 18 months.
The holes heal shut on their own, but some tubes may need to be removed and some holes may require surgery to be closed.
Your child’s doctor will explain to you if your child needs an ear tube.
Tips To Keep In Mind When Cleaning Your Baby’s Ears
You can use the above methods to clean your baby’s ears. However, it is important to remember what to do and what to avoid when cleaning a child’s ears.
One of the cardinal rules of cleaning a child’s ears is to avoid using cotton buds. Cotton swabs may seem convenient, but they are known to push earwax deeper into the ear canal, which worsens the problem and leads to earwax accumulation, causing canal blockage.
The same goes for using fingers. Anything that gets stuck inside the ear canal will either lead to wax accumulation or can damage the eardrum and cause it to rupture.
If your baby’s earwax problem gets worse, it is best to use baby earwax drops after consultation with your child’s pediatrician.
What Are The Precautions To Take While Cleaning Your Baby’s Ears?
Cleaning baby ears sounds easy, but it’s not. Even the tiniest mistake can send your baby into intense pain.
Here are some dos and don’ts you should follow while cleaning your child’s ears.
- Keep your baby calm and engaged
- Use a clean washcloth
- Consult your doctor if there is too much wax build-up.
- Avoid inserting any pointed objects inside your child’s ears, such as cotton swabs, earbuds, etc.
- Avoid using cold water to remove excess earwax
- Avoid spraying water or liquid inside your child’s ear with force
- Avoid cleaning your child’s ears too frequently or too harshly
When To Visit A Doctor
If there is an excessive buildup of wax in your child’s ears and you can’t remove it with the remedies listed above, take your child to the pediatrician as soon as possible.
Also, if you notice any symptoms of infection, such as milky fluid drainage, ear pain or fever, or even loss of hearing after removing wax, consult your baby’s pediatrician right away.
In general, baby earwax is harmless unless it accumulates in excessive amounts or becomes infected.
Taking safe and gentle steps to clean your baby’s ears will be beneficial. If they don’t work, and you notice anything unusual with your child’s health, contact your pediatrician immediately.
A Word From GetMe Treated
Cleaning your child’s ears may seem like a simple task, but it’s important to do it with care. Consider implementing the above tips to clean your child’s ear.
FAQs Related To How To Clean Your Child’s Ears
How do you clean a child’s ear discharge?
Soak your cheek/face in warm, soapy water to flush out any ear drainage.
How often should I clean my child’s ears?
1 – 2 times a week
Is hydrogen peroxide safe for ears?
Do not use hydrogen peroxide in your ears.
Why is my child’s ear full of wax?
Earwax build-up can occur in children who have a history of ear infections, small ear canal size, or ear trauma.
Earwax buildup can also be caused by hearing aids, earbud placement, or improper wax removal.
Earwax accumulation can lead to painful and discomfort-inducing symptoms.
What dissolves ear wax fast?
Warm mineral oil can be used to soften and loosen your earwax. Hydrogen peroxide can also be used, mixed with equal amounts of water at room temperature.
Put 2 drops of this solution, warmed to room temperature, in your ear twice daily for 3 to 5 days.
Why is white stuff coming out of my child’s ear?
This usually indicates that you have an ear infection.
How do you open a blocked ear wax?
To do this, soak a cotton ball in warm water, and drizzle a few drops of a simple saline solution or hydrogen peroxide solution into the ear canal with your head tilted upwards.
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