Cotton Swab For Baby

Cleaning of ears with cotton swabs has sent many kids to the ER (Emergency Room), as these objects perforate the developing ear membrane.


Cotton Swab Dangers in Newborns Ear;

A] Ruptured eardrums; Due to their bodies\’ sensitivity and development, cotton swabs are dangerous and too toxic to the baby\’s eardrums. It could lead to ruptured eardrums and severe bleeding.

B] Ear damage; when the eardrums are ruptured, cases like permanent damage can occur to the ears of your baby, leading to loss of sound.

C] Excessive build of earwax: Instead of cleaning the earwax from the babies ears, cotton swab pushes them back, preventing them from falling off. It can lead to blockage of the eardrums, creating discomfort for the babies like itching, discharge from the ear, etc.

d]Portions of cotton swabs in the ears; in many cases, using the cotton swabs leaves some cotton particles in the baby\’s ears. At first, this may be harmless but can cause unrepaired damage to the child\’s eardrums in the future. It is completely unhealthy for particles to be left in the eardrums.

Alternative methods of Cleaning Babies Ears:

A] Use eardrops; use medically approved eardrops prescribed by a pediatrician to prevent excessive earwax.

B] Use warm facial towels; this is usually done after bathing the baby. Use the warm towel to gently and mildly clean around the ears.

C] Use ointments or baby oil; few drops of baby healthy oil and ointments into the baby\’s ear soften the ear wax and clean them out. However, this should be done with medical directives and knowledge.

First instinct as parents when we see earwax in our baby\’s ear is to use THE COTTON SWAB, but these do more damage than good to the ears of our newborns. They cause severe damage to the infants and rupture the developing eardrums, which could lead to loss of sound. Alternative mild home remedies should be used instead of cotton swabs. Please consult a pediatrician if your baby is experiencing any ear problem to avoid any further complications.

When parents see wax in their children’s ears, their instinct is to remove it, usually with cotton-tip swabs (such as Q-tips). What parents don’t realize, however, is how much harm cotton-tip applicators can do.

In fact, The Journal of Pediatrics recently released a study concluding that cotton-tip swabs send dozens of kids across the country to the emergency room every day.

While we do see a number of traumatic ear injuries in the emergency room at Children’s Wisconsin, we also see patients visit our primary clinics for injuries or abrasions to the ear canal.

Ear wax is normal

I always emphasize to families that earwax is normal and has a purpose. For instance, wax catches dust and debris, and it helps prevent germs from getting into the ears.

Parents see the wax and want it out, but they should know it’s okay that it’s there.

When wax becomes problematic

In rare cases, kids’ ears do make excess earwax that can interfere with hearing or cause pain or discomfort. Parents should not try to remove it on their own using cotton-tip applicators due to the risk of damaging the ear canal and, possibly, their child’s hearing. Instead, splash some water in their ears during bathtime to help loosen it.

If the problem persists, contact your child’s pediatrician. Your pediatrician can determine whether that earwax should be removed and if there could be other issues causing the symptoms.

How Do You Sterilize A Cotton Swab

Unless the ear wax is blocking the ear canal and becomes bothersome, it should be left alone because it’s essential for optimal ear health.

Ear wax lubricates the ear canal, keeps debris from reaching the inner ears and helps fend off infection. When well-meaning parents attempt to remove their children’s ear wax with a cotton swab, they are most likely packing the wax further into the ear canal, which can cause complications.

Dangers of Using Ear Swabs

According to Dr. Rose, using swabs inside the ear may lead to:

  • Inflammation of the ear canal
  • Decreased hearing (temporary or long-term, depending on the injury)
  • Cuts and bleeding involving the ear canal
  • Swelling and pain
  • Injury to the eardrum, including holes and scarring
  • Dizziness and nausea/vomiting (rarely) from injury to inner ear structures

“It’s okay to remove visible wax on the outside of the ear with a soft cloth or the tip of a cotton swab, but we want to avoid placing objects into the ear canal,” Dr. Rose says.

The simplest way to remove ear wax on the outer ear is to wipe it gently with a soft washcloth. For more stubborn wax, Dr. Rose suggests removing with lukewarm (not cold or hot!) water using a bulb syringe or using a few drops of olive oil or mineral oil. A few drops should soften the wax, so it can work itself out. Water or drops should not be used if there is any concern for a hole in the eardrum. She cautions against many over-the-counter remedies.

“Always check with your doctor before using those because there are a variety of products on the market,” Dr. Rose says. “Some are safe (for children), but some may not be. A bulb syringe with water is safe and much less expensive than buying OTC products.”

If excessive ear wax buildup becomes chronic, schedule an appointment with your youngster’s doctor, who is better equipped to remove ear wax in his or her office.

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