Some Helpful Tips for Caring for Your Child's Ears
With hearing’s critical role in the development of language, speech, and communication skills, it’s important to stay atop children’s ear and hearing health. Patient education is an important part of that, so we’re sharing some helpful pediatric ear health tips.
Only the outer ear should be cleaned, wiped gently using either tissue or a washcloth. Nothing should be inserted into the ear, including cotton swabs, bobby pins or any sharp objects, which can damage the eardrum and ear canal.
Ears are generally self-cleaning due to natural earwax. If your child develops a buildup of earwax that interferes with hearing, it should be removed with mineral oil. Rubbing alcohol can be used to clean the earrings and earlobes of children with pierced ears.
Illness and Medications
A child that experiences hearing difficulty or perceives a persistent ringing, buzzing, or other noise in the ears or head should be taken to a doctor for evaluation. Leakage of fluid from the ear, which may indicate an infection, also warrants professional medical attention.
Some medications will interfere with a child’s ability to hear and should only be administered as instructed. It’s also important to consult a pediatrician if the child is taking a medication that causes hearing issues.
Children should always wear a helmet that protects both their head and ears whenever they’re engaging in activities such as
- Bicycling or skiing
- Skateboarding or rollerblading
- Playing sports such as football or baseball
- Participating in martial arts or boxing
When your child swims, help ensure they understand proper techniques to protect the ears from damage as a result of a change in pressure. During air travel, special earplugs with filters can be worn to balance air pressure within the ears.
General Ear Care
Regular hearing and ear checkups help ensure children are healthy and can communicate their best. Have their hearing evaluated by an audiologist.
To further help protect children’s ear and hearing health:
- Watch for potential warning signs of hearing loss, such as difficulty understanding conversations, turning up the television louder than usual, and having difficulties in school.
- Monitor noise levels within the home and on the go, including ensuring children are listening to music, video games, or other audio only at safe volumes — including when streaming audio through earbuds or headphones.
- When using sunscreen for outdoor activities, apply it to the child’s ears as well (external ears only).
Do you have questions or concerns about ear or hearing health? The expert team at ENT, Sinus & Hearing Care Center can help. To learn more or to schedule an evaluation, contact us today.