How to clean little ears

 
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Post by: Ellie Zuber

Cerumen, or earwax is a common problem many people face, including kiddos. Some ears are more prone to excessive ear wax than others for a variety of reasons like bendy ear canals, or their glands may create more secretion than others. Having some wax in your ears is normal and actually has some benefits, like helping keep foreign objects from reaching the ear drum. But, some ears create too much wax and it blocks the ear canal completely; this is known as occluding wax. If you suspect your child has occluding wax in their ears here are some helpful tips for how to proceed!

When to check your child’s ears:

·       If they seem to be having difficulty hearing

·       If they complain of ringing in the ears or tinnitus

·       If they are known to have waxy ears.

Do’s:

·       Use drops such as Debrox. These drops are used at night for 10 days and allow the wax to dissolve on its own, without requiring you to flush it out.

·       Contact your family doctor or audiologist. Most primary care physicians and audiologists have equipment at their office to remove wax without causing any pain for the child.

·       Continue to have their ears checked for wax every 4-6 months.

Don’ts:

·       Don’t stick anything in your child’s ears. Using cotton swabs, bobby pins, or any other object to remove wax out of children’s ears typically only push the wax deeper, making it uncomfortable for the child. In addition, if you startle the child while cleaning their ears they may jump and cause the cotton swab to perforate their ear drum, which is very painful!

·       Let it go untreated. The longer the wax stays in—the harder it is to get out!  The wax will become hard over time and may adhere to the skin in the ear canal. If you don’t have access to ear drops let your school nurse know so they can help.

·       Let your child clean their own ears—ever! This one may not need explaining, but it can’t be over-stated!

Anna Bogdon