How to clean a child's ear

Written by kallie johnson | 13/05/2017
How to clean a child's ear
Ear wax, or cerumen, is a yellow or white sticky liquid produced by skin glands inside the ear canal. (ear image by cico from

Ear wax is natural and normal. In fact, having wax inside of children's ears is not a bad thing. You need to remove wax only when it begins to block the ear canal, because it can prevent sound waves from reaching the ear drum. Unlike ear cleaning in adults, cotton swabs should not be used in children. Cotton swabs can push the wax further into the ear canal, making it harder to remove the wax. Additionally, if a child suddenly moves while having his ears cleaned with a cotton swab, the ear canal or ear drum may be damaged.

Lay the child on a flat surface, such as a bed or couch, with his ear facing up.

Fill the child's ear canal with ear wax removal drops. Alternatively, you can fill an eye dropper with baby oil or mineral oil and place it in the ear canal.

Keep the child's ear facing upward for at least five minutes. Place a towel or cloth over the ear and have the child sit up, so any liquid drips out of the ear. Do not purposely tilt the child's head to dump the liquid, but rather allow any excess liquid to drip out.

Repeat the process with the opposite ear.

Things you need

  • Over-the-counter ear wax removal drops
  • Eye dropper
  • Baby oil or mineral oil
  • Towel or cloth

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