by Suditsha Sanyal
Here are a few important tips on how to clean an infant’s ear
A lot of parents may think about the fuss on cleaning earwax of kids, and to many, this may even appear as an insignificant and a trivial topic for discussion. But dear parents, please don’t ignore this especially when it involves cleaning your baby’s ear.
Earwax is a bodily emanation and is actually a pretty useful stuff provided it is in small quantities. It is a natural cleanser and has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Earwax, also known as cerumen, is produced by glands lining the ear and is thick, sticky dead skin. It normally dries up as it reaches the outer ear canal and flakes off.
However, the problem arises when there is too much of earwax buildup. Too much earwax buildup can not only be unpleasant and can cause discomfort to the baby but can also lead to an earache, ear infection and can even impair hearing.
As compared to adults, babies are more prone to an ear infection and this usually happens when the fluid gets trapped and does not find the way out through the eustachian tubes. Eustachian tubes are channels that connect the middle ear to the throat. In babies, these tubes are shorter and more horizontal thereby restricting the free flow of the fluid trapped inside. This aggravates more because of the earwax buildup. Hence it is very important to clean the earwax of the infant with a lot of care and in a timely manner.
Use a damp soft washcloth to wipe clean the external ear canal of the child. Don’t use any tools like bobby pins or cotton swab to clean the ear from inside. Inserting anything inside the ear to clean the buildup earwax can further push it deeper and also possess a risk of rupturing the eardrum. For cleaning the hardened earwax you can use water based ear-drop which contains ingredients like acetic acid, hydrogen peroxide or sodium bicarbonate. Similarly, you can even use oil based ear-drop which softens and lubricates the earwax.
2. Prescribed ear-drop:
In case if you wish to use ear-drop, a certain procedure has to be followed. Fill up a small clean glass bottle halfway with hydrogen peroxide. Now mix water and shake it well. Fill an eyedropper with this solution and drop this mixture into the baby’s ear. While doing so, make sure you are dropping the liquid one drop at a time. Alternatively, you can also squirt lukewarm water into baby’s ear while he/she is taking bath and this will eventually flush out the earwax from his/ her ears.
In case you find any yellow fluid oozing from baby’s ear or if there is mild fever, pain or the baby is rubbing or tugging his ear, please don’t ignore and visit the doctor at the earliest. Babies cannot verbalize therefore it is very important to observe and understand the signs. Moreover, before using any kind of ear-drop please consult the pediatrician.
As a first timer, it is furthermore advisable to consult the doctor for cleaning the baby’s ear from inside rather than trying on your own.
Disclaimer: Each child is unique. There may be some of the above-listed remedies which might not suit him/her. So, do consult your doctor before trying it out yourself!
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