How should my child be treated for swimmer’s ear?

Your child’s doctor will speak with you about specific care for your child. Some general guidelines to follow include:

  • Give eardrops as directed. Sometimes a wick is used to keep the
          antibiotic against the ear canal; the wick should fall out in two to
          three days. If it does not, you may need to remove it.
  • Place the container under warm water for a few minutes to warm
          eardrops. Do not warm the container in the microwave.
  • Use the eardrops until there are no symptoms for 48 hours.
  • Give acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tempra, Panadol) if prescribed by
          your child’s doctor for fever and pain.

Follow the directions on the box carefully or ask your child’s doctor how much medicine to give.

  • Do not give your child more than 5 doses of acetaminophen in a
          24-hour period.
  • Do not give acetaminophen to babies less than 3 months of age
          without talking with your child's doctor.
  • Apply warm compresses to the ear. They may help with pain.
  • Do not allow water to get into the ear when bathing (use ear plugs
          when tolerated).
  • Avoid swimming until all symptoms are gone, or until allowed by the

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.