Many parents have this question: should they clean their child's ear? Most pediatricians don's see normal earwax buildup as a cause of concern. Wax buildup in a child's ear may not be aesthetically pleasing, but it is usually safe to ignore. The buildup of earwax is actually beneficial. But, of course, if it continues to accumulate, it can become a problem for your ears and your overall health. Therefore, it must be eliminated if this is the case. However, there are correct and improper methods to follow. But before using an ear cleaning curette at home, it's essential to understand the proper techniques, time, and safe practices.
What is earwax?
Cerumen, more often known as earwax, is a wax-like substance produced by our ear canals. It protects against the ingress of moisture, dust, dirt, and other foreign bodies into the ear canal. In addition, it has enzymes that help keep germs and fungi from thriving in the ear, providing additional protection. As a result, pediatricians often advise parents not to worry about cleaning their child's ears until their children complain about problems.
However, if too much wax accumulates in the ear, it can develop impaction and cause ear infections or other unpleasant symptoms. In addition, too much earwax can make it difficult to hear and may also lead to a blocked ear canal, ringing in the ears, fullness, discharge, pain, itching, a foul stench, and even a cough. In that case, knowing the proper tools and techniques for how to clean children's ears can be helpful for parents and grown-up kids.
How to clean kids' ears?
Although removing earwax that is visible at the ear canal's opening can be quickly done at home with a washcloth, consulting a physician for severe symptoms is always recommended. Read on to learn about some things you can do at home to help your child and some strategies a doctor might employ.
Washcloths and water are all you need to clean your kid's ears. Most experts advise using a moist washcloth to clean the outer ear exclusively; having your child take a warm bath help to soften the wax and make this process easier.
However, you should avoid inserting anything, not even a cotton swab, into the ear canal. It can force more wax into your ear canal and rupture your eardrum.
Earwax Softening Solutions
Another method is purchasing safe earwax softening solutions. They can assist children with impacted earwax and are readily available in medical stores. For example, hydrogen peroxide or Debrox® formula is often recommended for children with cerumen impaction. This solution can be effective as the wax will be more easily pushed out of your child's ear canal and into the channel, where it may be easily cleaned with a washcloth. But parents should heed caution when purchasing an over-the-counter product.
Visit Doctor's Clinic
Visiting an ENT specialist for those with earwax impaction is always a good idea. A pediatrician's ENT office has special tools like suction, scoop, or other instruments to remove the blockage. They could also try using warm water to flush the child's ears, apply wax-softening drops, or prescribe a solution at home.
The most commonly used instrument for earwax cleaning is an ear curette. A pediatrician can also use the micro-suctioning technique to eliminate wax. Children with ear tubes or a perforated eardrum may benefit most from manual removal.
Although many people turn to home remedies for removing earwax, it's neither recommended nor a safe approach. Earwax removal can be done at home, but the ear canal and eardrum are fragile, so it may be better to see a doctor. In addition, people who experience severe discomfort, bleeding, or discharge from the ear should contact a doctor.
How to get wax out of kids' ears?
Here are some helpful tips for safe earwax cleaning at home.
- Use a dry cloth or damp washcloth to remove excessive earwax buildup that has escaped through the ear canal.
- Teach children to practice tilting their heads against a towel after a shower. This technique can help eliminate water that has entered the ear during the bath.
- Unfortunately, children occasionally place little objects in their ear canals, including beads, beans, etc. Never attempt to remove a foreign object from your child's ear canal by inserting anything into the ear canal. The best approach is to consult an ENT specialist for foreign body removal. In addition, it is beneficial to chat with young children about the importance of avoiding inserting objects into their ears.
- Discuss with your child's pediatrician or an ENT specializing in pediatrics if you believe excessive earwax is creating hearing difficulties for your children. Although many OTC wax-dissolving solutions can help, it is preferable to consult your child's physician to determine the most effective method.
- Avoid inserting cotton swabs into your ears, especially in front of your youngster. Children tend to imitate the actions of adults.
At what age do you start cleaning kids' ears?
It is acceptable to wipe the outer ear with a washcloth if your kid shows signs of ear discomfort and there is earwax. However, do not insert cotton swabs, fingers, or anything else into the ear canal. It could injure the sensitive ear canal and tympanic membrane or further compact the earwax. Most practitioners recommend earwax removal for kids over six years.
Contacting an audiologist to remove an excessive amount of earwax that is causing blockages and other problems in your kids is recommended. Attempting a home remedy or using cotton swabs can cause further issues. On the other hand, professional doctors can use earwax dissolving drops or endoscopic micro-suction to safely and effectively remove excessive earwax.
Healthcare providers use different tools and techniques for safe earwax removal. One of the most commonly used items is an ear cleaning curette. An ear wax removal curette is a long, curved instrument used to scrape cerumen from the ear canal and remove excessive earwax buildups. Also known as ear wax curette, they are available in different materials, such as plastic, steel, and satin finish. Depending on the problem, a doctor can choose to employ a steel or plastic ear curette for earwax removal.
In hospitals and clinics, disposable ear curettes are frequently used to reduce the costs and risks associated with re-sterilizing stainless steel curettes. In addition, practitioners highly prefer safe ear curettes from reliable manufacturers like AHS for safety and effectiveness in removing cerumen from kids.
Best Professional Ear Curette Value Pack for Hospital Supplies
- AHS Color-Coded Variety Ear Curette Pack: Ear wax removal is a sensitive and delicate operation. That's why many practitioners trust AHS Ear Curette Pack for ear-cleaning needs. The pack includes five individually wrapped curettes with different shapes and sizes tips, so you can choose the one that best fits your ear. These are color-coded to make it easier to find the right one. In addition, these disposable ear curettes eliminate contamination and the cost of de-sterilizing metal curettes. They are made of polypropylene, which allows them to bend around obstacles without breaking.
- AHS Disposable Ear Curette for Children: These pink ear curettes from AHS are designed for children's sensitive ears and are disposable for sanitary use. They're also made of a softer material, so they're gentler on your child's ears and less likely to cause discomfort.
- AHS Disposable 2mm Spoon Baby Ears Cleaning Curette: In order to avoid the hassle and potential health dangers of re-sterilizing stainless steel ear curettes, single-use ear curettes have been developed as a reliable alternative. These ear curettes are perfect for cleaning infants' ears, with a precise 2mm spoon tip and a soft touch for the most gentle treatment. In addition, they're disposable and come in packs of 50, making them suitable for homes and clinics.
Earwax, sometimes called cerumen, is naturally produced by the ear's glands to keep the ear canals moist and prevent dust and debris from entering the ear. Although excess cerumen usually works its way out of the ear on its own, it can build up and become a problem if left unchecked. It may be necessary to visit an audiologist for earwax removal if the obstruction is severe. Earwax removal for kids is typically performed by a pediatric specialist using one of three techniques: irrigation, suction, or ear curette.
Cleaning your child's ear canals using any foreign body is usually unnecessary. But if you see that they have an excessive amount of earwax or that it is causing them discomfort, there are easy and risk-free techniques to remove it. However, if your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms: hearing loss, tinnitus, heaviness, headache, itching, odor, coughing, or balance loss, they should consult their doctor or a pediatric ENT immediately.
A good rule of thumb to follow is to avoid putting anything in your or your kids' ears for wax removal. If safe practices don't work, consulting a doctor is perhaps the best option to avoid ear-damaging complications.
This blog is intended solely for educational purposes. Any information related to medical supplies and personal healthcare should be viewed as general information and not as professional medical advice. American Hospital Supply recommends consulting your doctor regarding any medical treatments or therapies referenced. American Hospital Supply does not make representations or warranties regarding the information relating to products or healthcare decisions referenced within this blog.