Your child’s ears are delicate – and it is important that we are both gentle with them, and aware that they should be looked after just as much as their eyes. They don’t really get that much attention compared to other parts of our kid’s bodies. Teeth get brushed. Eyes get checked. Ears get ignored! 😂For example, most families are vigilant about their kids’ eye sight, with regular trips to the optician. But the poor ears get forgotten. It can be that we only think to check our child’s ears when there is a problem, rather than regularly practising good general ear care day to day.
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We have had a think about ways in which you can help your child look after their ears so that we are helping them to avoid ear infections. Treatment for ear infections have developed considerably over the years. It is helpful to diagnose them early, and seek treatment. In addition, prevention, particularly for children that regularly swim, would be more desirable.
If you have a younger child, it is even harder to keep an eye (!) on their ears because they cannot tell you what is wrong potentially. That’s why it is worth just checking your child’s ear once a day, perhaps while they have a bath and are distracted.
Kids ears care: Be aware of Swimmer’s ear
What is Swimmer’s Ear? This is an ear infection that swimmer’s are particularly susceptible too. It’s real name is Otitis Externa, and it is much more common in swimmers as water in the ear can be a cause. You can imagine that children who regularly swim can get a LOT of water in their ears! Wearing a hat, and paying attention to cleaning out the ears after swimming, and having a bath can reduce the chances of developing it.
Don’t put cotton bud’s into your child’s ear
Yes. We know. You thought that this was what cotton buds were for. Apparently there is a an old saying about looking after your ears:
“Do not put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear”Lots of audiologists – supposedly 😂
This rings true, so don’t use cotton buds to clean your, or your children’s ears. Just use a cloth, gently. We actually need ear wax in our ears, so don’t go mental with cleaning either. Excessive build up can causing hearing problems, so be aware, but don’t damage the ear with over-zealous cleaning.
Until children are older, cotton buds are actually bigger than the ear canal, so putting them in will only push the wax further down. This can actually result in a build up of wax, and cause MORE ear infections, and not less…
Always put a covering over them in the sun or the cold weather
The ears are sometimes forgotten, sitting their on the side of the head, minding their own business. BUT, they are delicate, and can be easily damaged by the sun, or the cold. It is wise to give your child a sun hat, to prevent sun burn. Don’t forget them when you are putting sun cream on your little ones either.
When it is cold, they are also susceptible too, so make sure you buy your kids a cute / cool bobble hat to cover them in the winter too.
Be vigilant with piercings
Some countries piece their little one’s ears quite young, or you may have a slightly older child who has been keen to get ear piercings for ages and you have succumbed. We have some excellent advice on looking after pierced ears. It is worth considering using hypo-allergenic ear-rings for the first few months of having an ear piercing to minimise the rest of infections.
Knew the signs of an ear infection
If your child is younger or no verbal, it helps to know what the signs are of an ear infection, so you can seek help as soon as possible. Antibiotics aren’t usually prescribed for ear infections now; it is sometimes preferred to use acetic acid ear drops. If you suspect your child has an ear infection do seek medical help from a practitioner, or an organisation like Auris Ear Care, who have specialists in looking after little one’s delicate ears.
The signs of an ear infection include:
- Tugging on the ear,
- High temperature,
- Itching around the ear,
- Redness in the ear canal,
- Unexplained crying, and
- Difficulty sleeping.
Remember if your child’s temperature is high, and they look sick, or you feel they need medical attention, don’t hesitate and follow your gut.
Note: we are not medically qualified, and if you have any concerns about your child’s health or their ears, please phone your local doctor, GP, or health practioner. This is NOT medical advice. This leaflet will help, but please contact a professional ASAP.
This should help you to look after your child’s ears almost as well as you look after their teeth and eyes (!). If you want more articles on your child’s health and wellbeing, why not take a look at these?
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