Ear Health And Hygiene In Kids
Good personal hygiene not only helps to kill germs but also boosts proper growth and development in kids. Since kids are small they tend to mess and play around with whatever they catch hold on. When A&A were young, they would pick up everything they saw around and loved to explore. Sometimes they would put things in their mouth and sometimes in ears. I had to be vigilant all the time and pay extra attention to maintain proper hygiene.
Among many others things, we often neglect ear health and hygiene in kids. Toddlers may be small but their ears hold a whole lot of gunk inside, including ear wax. Though ear wax is a good thing as the yellowy waxy substance protects the ear canal from bacterial/ fungal infection. But too much wax can press against the eardrum and clog the auditory canal which may be harmful.
I personally follow a few steps to maintain ear health and hygiene in kids. Sharing some tips below for your reference –
1. Observe the senses while bathing your little one- Toddlers ears are a prime place for grit and grime to hide because there are so many little folds and crevices. Be gentle while bathing and check thoroughly during bath. I always used a soft cotton cloth or a cotton swab to remove any gunk around the outside and behind those small delicate ears.
2. Keep an eye for infection– An ear infection due to cold often goes unnoticed. When kids wail in pain or there is redness around the ears/ the child is observed continuously rubbing his/her ear, it is a signal of an ear infection that needs immediate doctor’s medical attention.
3. Consult an ENT– If your child is showing signs of hearing difficulty immediately consult an ENT (a specialised doctor for ears, nose & tongue). The cause of the problem may be due to varied reasons and it is always wise to consult a doctor at the right time.
4. Use drops to remove extra wax if need be- It’s important to consult a doctor and put prescribed ear drops if excessive wax in the ears trouble the child. The drops help to melt/ soften the wax which can then be removed easily. I have also used warm mustard oil for this purpose, but only after consulting my doctor.
5. Refrain from using ear buds in front of your kids- Children have a tendency to observe the adults around and mimic them. This may be dangerous at times. Kids observing their parents may mimic and put an ear bud in their ears that can have a harmful effect and can damage the ear walls.
6. Teach the kids to tilt their head after bath on each side- To dry ears after a bath or a shower, instruct your child tilt their ear to one side against a towel, and then the other side allowing the extra water to drip out on its own. This helps in maintain ear hygiene.
7. Never use a pin or a foreign body in your child’s ears– Kids sometimes put little things in their ears while playing. Train your child and yourself avoid using any pin or foreign body in your baby’s ears.
8. Don’t over rub your child’s ears- Excessive rubbing may irritate the ear canal, cause infection or even create ear wax impaction which may eventually leave the child with irritation and pain.
It is important to keep our ‘kids’ ears clean. Usually it is done during bath time. However, no matter how much care is taken, as parents if any discomfort is observed with regards to the child constantly touching the ears or not hearing clearly or having thick ear wax, the wisest decision would be to seek medical health and not experiment yourself with different techniques or suggestions from others. Remember, our ears are a very important part of our body and we should take good care of them.
Pic Credit – Pixabay.com
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