/No Cotton Swabs in Your Children’s Ears; Ear Cleaning

No Cotton Swabs in Your Children’s Ears; Ear Cleaning

Unless your pediatrician recommends it to you, there’s no need to clean the inside of your children’s ears! Experts strongly advise against the use of the cotton swab.

No Cotton Swabs in Your Children’s Ears; Ear Cleaning

“In Switzerland, people are much attached to cleanliness and hygiene, and quite reluctant to have wax in their ears. She is wrong, “says Dr. Jacques Cherpillod, endocrinologist specializing in the treatment of children in Lausanne. Systematic cleaning of children’s ears is not advisable, let alone with cotton swabs. A recommendation that also applies to adults. Ear wax, indeed, is not something “dirty”. It is a system of protection of the auditory canal and our tympanum: “The wax embraces the dust and pushes it naturally outwards”, explains the specialist. Therefore, if it is removed, the ear is weakened. In addition, the production of wax varies according to the individual. “If your child makes a lot of wax, your pediatrician will tell you,” continues Dr. Cherpillod. In the absence of such a warning, you do not have to worry about cleaning the inside of your ears. ”

However, it often happens to the pediatrician that it removes a little wax when it examines the ears of a child. It is only for the doctor to clear the view towards the duct or the tympanum, explains the specialist, not to open the ear properly so called. Earwax plugs – the scientific name for ear wax – certainly form in some children, but for such a plug to have an impact on hearing it must really be stuck to the eardrum.

Pierced eardrums

As for cotton swabs, no, we should not use them to clean the inside of the ears. Packaging sold in the United States also proscribe this job at least since the 1970s. In adults, this use eventually leads to itching that cotton swabs both relieve temporarily and maintain over time. In children, the situation is different. Standard swabs are usually too wide to enter their ear canal. But there are smaller models whose diameter corresponds more or less to that of the duct. Result of such use: “We cup the wax at the bottom of the pipe, says Dr. Cherpillod. We see it if we have to remove a cork. In this case, it is placed near the eardrum while, without a cotton swab, we would find it rather in the middle. “A perforation of the tympanum is not excluded, even if it is fortunately rare. “The ear canal has the good taste to be bent, continues the doctor, so it is not easy to reach the eardrum. But accidents happen, like a fall or an elbow while the cotton swab is still in the ear. “It is also possible to hurt the skin of the ear canal.

Neither water bombs nor candles

Mass is said: no cotton swabs in the ears. Just can be used to clean the flag, the outer part of the ear, if desired. “If you really want to wash your child’s ears, or if the pediatrician recommends it, showering them regularly with warm water is the best solution,” says Dr. Cherpillod. With each washing of hair for example, you can put the shower against the ear of the child – without too much flow and not too hot – and thus count to 30. “The otorhinolaryngologist denounces of elsewhere two inefficient methods, even dangerous to open the ears. “It sells for small fortunes water bombs to squirt in the ears. It is very expensive, not much more effective than the shower and especially unpleasant for the child. There are also candles that are said to be used by Hopi Indians to open their ears. They are hollow and burned into the ear. Their principle is that the heat would dry out and aspirate the earwax, but it has been experimentally confirmed that the debris found inside the candle after its use has a chemical composition incompatible with that of human wax. This does not remove anything and the procedure also involves a risk of burn. Their principle is that the heat would dry out and aspirate the earwax, but it has been experimentally confirmed that the debris found inside the candle after its use has a chemical composition incompatible with that of human wax. This does not remove anything and the procedure also involves a risk of burn. Their principle is that the heat would dry out and aspirate the earwax, but it has been experimentally confirmed that the debris found inside the candle after its use has a chemical composition incompatible with that of human wax. This does not remove anything and the procedure also involves a risk of burn.

What to pay attention to?

Some signs to keep in mind for the health of your child’s ears.

  • The pain first. If your child complains of earaches, especially if he has fever and flu-like symptoms, talk to your pediatrician.
  • A child who frequently touches the ears does not necessarily require immediate consultation. But if this persists, have them examined, for example during a future check.
  • The impression that the child is hearing badly should alert you and make you control his hearing. certain conditions, such as secretory otitis, may go unnoticed but may temporarily cause hearing loss.