Keeping Ears Dry in Children: Care Instructions

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Your doctor wants you to keep water from getting into your child's ears. You may need to do this because of a ruptured eardrum, an ear infection, or other ear problems.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • Have your child take baths until the doctor says showers are okay again. Avoid getting water in the ear until after the problem clears up. Ask the doctor if you should use earplugs to keep water out of your child's ears.
  • Do not let your child swim until your doctor says it is okay.
  • If your child gets water in the ears, turn your child's head to each side and pull the earlobe in different directions. This will help the water run out. If your child's ears are still wet, use a hair dryer set on the lowest heat. Hold the dryer several inches from your child's ear.
  • Give your child medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think your child is having a problem with a medicine. Do not put drops in your child's ears unless your doctor prescribes them.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if your child has any problems.

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.