How to Remove Wax From a Child's Ear

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When your child has wax in her ear, you should not remove it because it is good for her health. Wipe away excess wax on the edge of your child's ear with help from a pediatrician in this free video on caring for children.

Part of the Video Series: How to Care for Your Child's Condition
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dr. David Hill and today we are going to talk about how to remove wax from a child's ear. The first thing I would say is don't, really don't try to remove wax from a child's ear. Why would I say that. Wax is supposed to be in the external auditory canal. It's good for you. It keeps bugs out, it keeps dirt out, it actually has antibacterial and antifungal properties because it's a little bit acidic. So it forms an important protective barrier for a layer of skin there inside the ear that is very delicate and very sensitive. So if wax is there in general don't worry about it. Now you may see a little towards the edge of the ear and that you just want to get out with a washcloth when the child is in the bathtub. The magical thing about the ear canal is that the skin grows outwards. It provides a conveyor belt that slowly carries wax from the inside the ear to outside of the ear. Now there maybe cases in which a child ear becomes so clogged with wax that it's painful and difficult for the child to hear. When that happens you really want a physician or a physician's assistant, or a nurse practitioner, somebody who is really comfortable digging in children's ears to try and get it out. There are a variety of tools that we use, we have little scoops that may be made of plastic or metal. We have special squirters and syringes that we can use to try and squirt it out. An ear,nose and throat doctor may have even a little sucker attached to a suction canister with which he can grab the wax and pull it out of the ear canal. These are all ways that we deal with problematic wax. But if the issue is just, oh my kids got wax in his ears, I don't like the look of it, seriously leave it there, the ears are going to take care of themselves. And a little washcloth and warm water is going to do you a lot of good. It is way too easy to injure the inside of the ear canal or the ear drum to ever go messing around in there. So talking about how to wax out of a child's ear, I'm Dr. David Hill.

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