My daughter swims year-round and has recently been getting swimmer's ear. Can
these infections be prevented? – Jovana
or otitis externa, is common in kids who spend a lot of time in the water. Water
can sit in the ear canal and lead to irritation and infection of the outer ear.
The good news is that outer ear infections often can be prevented. For starters,
your daughter can wear a bathing cap or removable earplugs to help keep the ear canals
dry. Or, after getting wet, she can tip her head to the side to let the water drain
out. She also can use a hair dryer on a low setting, at least 12 inches away, to dry
If her ears still aren't drying out, talk to your doctor about using ear drops
at the end of a swim to help dry up the water in her ears and prevent infection.
Your daughter should not clean her ears with cotton swabs or put any other
objects (like bobby pins) in her ears, which can scratch the skin and allow bacteria
or fungi to enter. Ear wax
is actually good and can protect against swimmer's ear.
Swimmer's ear can be treated with antibiotics, and your daughter should stay out
of the pool while she's recovering. Make sure she uses the antibiotics for as long
as the doctor says to, even if she feels better sooner.