Better Ways to Clean Children’s Ears – Emergency Medical Services for Children Day 2017


ALTUS SAFETY TIPS: Better Ways to Clean Children’s Ears

We’ve All Heard About the Dangers of Cotton Swabs. What are Better Ways to Clean Children’s Ears?

Over the years there has been a lot of debate centered around what are better ways to clean children’s ears. In honor of Emergency Medical Services for Children Day 2017 (EMSC), we think it is vital to shed light on this subject. Despite the amount of information available these days, most parents still do not know that a human’s ear canal is designed to be self-cleaning.

The ear canal is lined by skin that slowly moves out of the canal pushing the wax out towards the pinna or outer ear where it will become dry and flaky and eventually fall out on its own.

Having self-cleaning ear canals is great, but as every parent knows, children have an uncanny ability to get dirt and small objects into tiny orifices, so, these must be checked and cleaned regularly. If when inspecting your child, you find that they have inserted a foreign object into their ear canal, it is crucial that you do not attempt to remove it on your own, as you may cause serious damage to your child, instead head out to the nearest Altus Emergency Center to have one of our expert ER doctors and nurses safely remove the object. Below we list five better ways to clean children’s ears.

There Are Better Ways to Clean Children’s Ears

Time to Move Away from the Cotton Swab Tradition and say, “Hello” to Altus Safety Tips!

Pediatricians have been warning parents about the hazards of using cotton swabs to clean a child’s ear for some time now, which prompts the question of which are the best ways to clean children’s ears on a routine basis. We want to keep them safe!

The following are Five Alternative Ways to clean your child’s ears:

#1 Wash Cloth: Since only the outer ear needs to be cleaned, the safest way to do it is with the use of a soft wash cloth. This is best done after a bath or shower as the moisture will soften the wax and any dirt that may have lodged itself in the outer ear. Be gentle and never insert your finger or other object into the ear canal.

#2 Mineral Oil: If you suspect your child’s ear wax has hardened or that they may have a buildup, you can use a few drops of mineral oil or olive oil. The oil should be the warmed up to skin temperature, have your child lie on their side and use a dropper to apply the oil to affected ear. After a few minutes, have your child sit up and let the oil and buildup wax drip out.

#3 Hydrogen Peroxide: The use of hydrogen peroxide mixed with water in small children is not advisable, it may cause dizziness and vertigo not to mention it may scare and even traumatize the child.

#4 Ear Drops: For school age children, the use of over the counter ear drops like Debrox can be useful, but you should consult your pediatrician before applying them.

#5 Candling: This method is not recommended for several reasons. First there is a risk of burn injury to the child, inserting the candle in the ear canal may cause damage to the ear drum, not to mention there is no real evidence that candling has any real effect in ear wax removal.

Keep an Eye Out for Any Signs of Danger

Know the Signs – When to Visit an ER

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The Following are Three Signs of Alert

  • #1 – If you notice any blood or pus oozing from your child’s ear,

  • #2 – If they are experiencing pain or discomfort in one of both ears,

  • #3 – Or have any change in their hearing.

Hearing is one of the five senses. The fact that a child’s ears are fragile and are in development must be taken seriously. You can prevent permanent damage. If they experience any of the three symptoms listed above, visit the nearest Altus Emergency Center for a thorough evaluation and treatment.

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Happy Emergency Medical Services for Children Day 2017

Altus Emergency Centers
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