Conditions + Treatments

Treatments for Swimmer's Ear in Children

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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.
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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

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