How To Properly Clean Children’s Earwax
Wax is a natural product produced by our ears to help keep our ears healthy and protected. The production of wax is a balancing act, however. If there's too much of it, the ears can become blocked and hearing is reduced; if there's too little, you open the doors to viruses and bacteria. Keeping our ears clean and healthy is an important part of our daily self-care, particularly when we are caring for children. From babies to older children, it is essential for parents to make sure they follow a few guidelines to keep them safe while cleaning their ears. Here are some useful tips.
Tips for Cleaning Children’s Ears
- Regular baths and showers are highly recommended for keeping children’s ears clean and healthy, and this is the best time to check your child’s ears and clean them if necessary. The warmth and humidity of the water will have loosened and softened any wax and encouraged it to move to the outer area of the ear, where it can quickly and easily be wiped away. There are some gentle ear wax cleansing products on the market that are suitable for cleansing the ears of babies and young children, such as the Innerscope Ear Spray Cleaner Wax Removal.
- Do make sure your child is relaxed while you clean their ears. You don’t want any sudden movements to cause a problem or injury. Do not place cotton swabs inside of a child’s ears. This could lead to injury if your child suddenly moves. Only use soft cotton balls, a clean washcloth or a baby wipe to clean the outermost part of their ear.
- Never push anything into the ear canal further than the outer part of the ear. The danger of using cotton swabs for cleaning and removing wax is that each child’s ear canal differs, so there could be a risk of injury. Stay safe and only clean the outside, leaving the interior of the ear canal to the professionals.
- Don’t worry if the ear wax is different colors, such as dark brown, yellow, or orange; this is a natural part of the process.
- Make sure you dry the outside of the ear after cleaning using a clean, dry cloth or fresh cotton makeup pad.
After bathing or at other times when you are caring for a baby, you may see some wax deposits on the outside of the ear. Use a soft washcloth or baby wipe to gently clean this away. You should never attempt to clean further into the ear itself. Only clean the part you can see in the soft folds of the outer ear. If there seems to be excessive wax or the baby seems uncomfortable, make an appointment with your doctor or baby clinic for expert evaluation and advice.
It is important to make sure your child’s ears are dry after swimming in a pool or the sea. As you help them dry off after being in the water, try to encourage them to tilt their head to one side and then the other. This will help any water trapped in the ear canal to make its way to the outer ear. Dry with a cloth. If you are at the local pool or at home, you can use a hair dryer to circulate warm air around their ears from about a foot away. This will encourage any excess moisture to dry out.
Look out for signs that your child is complaining of pain or discomfort in the ear. A baby may not be able to tell you their ear hurts directly, but certain signs, such as repeated tugging at their ear, could signal a problem. Perhaps your child has started to run a temperature or the ear itself doesn’t smell quite right; if so, seek professional help. Don’t attempt to treat this yourself. Instead, wait for a doctor or pediatrician to check the child’s ears and make a professional diagnosis.
Taking care of our children’s health is a big part of looking after them and keeping them well, and paying attention to the smaller details, such as regular ear care, is just another one of those jobs. A little bit of prevention can go a long way with children’s healthcare, but do take care when cleaning your child’s ears at home following our useful tips. If in doubt, always consult your healthcare professional.