As body parts go, your ears don't ask
for much. They don't need to be brushed like your teeth
or trimmed like your toenails. All your ears need is to be washed regularly, so wash
them with soap and water while you're sudsing up the rest of your body in the bath
The Facts on Earwax
You might wonder about earwax and whether
it needs to be cleaned out. Actually, even though earwax seems yucky, it serves a
purpose. Your ear canal makes earwax to protect the ear. After it is produced, it
slowly makes its way to the opening of the ear. Then it either falls out or is removed
when you wash. If you want, you can clean the opening of your ear gently with a washcloth.
There's an old saying that you shouldn't put anything smaller than your elbow in
your ear. Not all old sayings are true, but this one is! You can hurt your ear by
poking around in there. It's not even a good idea to use a cotton swab. This can push
wax deeper in your ear, where it can get stuck. Irritating the ear canal with a cotton
swab can even lead to an ear canal infection.
And definitely don't put anything sharp in your ear because it can cause bleeding
or serious damage. If you think you have dirt or too much earwax in your ear, ask
your mom or dad to make an appointment with the doctor to clean it out.
Taking Care of Pierced Ears
Pierced ears may look pretty, but you need to take good care of them or things
can get ugly! When you first get your ears pierced, leave the earrings in until your
ears are completely healed. If you don't, your holes could close up.
You'll also want to prevent infections in your newly pierced ears. Wash your hands
before touching your pierced ears. Applying rubbing alcohol also can help keep germs away. With an adult's help, soak a cotton
ball in rubbing alcohol and apply it to both sides of the hole (with the earring still
in your ear). Then twirl the earring several times to make sure the alcohol gets in
and around the earring post.
If you think one of your pierced ears may be infected,
tell your mom or dad. An infected earlobe may be swollen, red, warm, and painful,
and it may ooze a fluid called pus. Don't wait for it to get better by itself.
Tips for Swimmers
Sometimes, swimming can lead to a case of swimmer's
ear. That's when your outer ear gets infected, causing swelling and pain. This
happens when water gets stuck in your ear canal. This can irritate the skin, making
it easier for bacteria to invade the skin and cause an infection. If you think you
have swimmer's ear, your mom or dad needs to call the doctor. Special ear drops can
help you get rid of it.
Ears, Hot and Cold
When the sun is beating down, wear a hat or remember to rub some sunscreen
on your ears, so they don't get fried. And when winter rolls around, keep them covered
up with a hat or headband. Why? Because when it's freezing outside, it's easy for
ears to get frostbitten. Brrrr!