Communication Matters

Tips for Safely Cleaning Your Child's Ears

Akilah Porter, Marketing Coordinator | Posted on July 30, 2019

ear diagram-1

Good ear hygiene is often associated with the presence of earwax, commonly known as cerumen. Wax may not be visually pleasing, but it is beneficial to your health. This substance is naturally produced in the ear canal and acts as a protective lubricate against external objects such as dust, dirt, and insects.

Ear wax also contains antibacterial properties, which means the ears are self-cleaning. Although it is crucial to keep some of your earwax, it is okay to remove excess when it starts to travel outside of the ear canal.

Here are 5 Dos and Don'ts to keep in mind when cleaning your child's ears:

  1. Do use a damp cloth/paper towel to remove any wax that has migrated outside of the bowl of the ear. It’s sufficient enough to clean your ear without causing any damage.
     
  2. Don’t use cotton swabs. They push wax further into the eardrum, causing a rupture, infection, or hearing loss. You should also refrain from using cotton swabs to clean your ears in front of your child since children like to mimic their parents.
  3. Do have your child tilt his/her head to the side on a towel to allow for trapped water to effortlessly come out.
  4. Do not attempt to remove any items that may be stuck in your child’s ear by yourself. Instead, schedule an appointment with your pediatrician. He/she will know how to extract objects from your child's ear safely.
  5. Do advise your teen to clean the back of his/her ears with soap and warm water to get rid of any acne-causing dirt and oil

Remember that ear wax is good when it comes to ear health. It's essential to use care when cleaning your child's ears to help promote healthy hearing as he/she develops. 

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Tags: Hearing, Teens, Caregiving, Hearing Loss, toddler, "ears"

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