Swimmer's ear (otitis externa)
Treatment & Care
Your child will likely feel better within seven to 10 days. Treatment may include:
- antibiotic ear drops or oral antibiotics
- corticosteroid ear drops (to help decrease the swelling)
- pain medication
- keeping the ear dry, as directed by your child's physician
- a wick (a piece of sponge may be placed in your child's ear if there's a lot of swelling; this wick helps the antibiotic drops work more effectively in the ear canal)
How can I help my child prevent swimmer's ear?
Here are some hints for prevention:
- Place two to three drops of a mixture of vinegar/isopropyl alcohol/water into your child's ear after the ears come in contact with water.
- Use ear plugs for swimming or bathing.
- Do not aggressively clean your child's ear canal.