To be safe, never put anything in the ear smaller than the tip of your little finger.
Treat inflammation or infection as advised by your health care provider. Your doctor may recommended ear drops.
A gentle, warm water flush using a syringe (available at the drug store) can be used to remove packed-down ear wax. Do not attempt to remove impacted ear wax in very young children. If ear wax can be easily seen and retrieved in older children, do so carefully. NEVER use sharp objects to attempt to remove wax.
Seek medical help for injury from a foreign object, noises or pressure changes, head injury, or a suspected clotting or bleeding problem.
Don't get alarmed over a ruptured eardrum. Eardrum rupturing is the first sign of the healing process. Antibiotics can help prevent further infection during the healing process. Eardrum ruptures in children will usually heal completely within a few weeks.
For swimmer's ear (unless the eardrum is perforated):
- Tilt the head sideways, with the water-filled ear up.
- Pull the ear upward and backward.
- Carefully squeeze into the ear a medicine-dropper full of rubbing alcohol, or a mix of half rubbing alcohol and half white vinegar. This mixture will dry out the ear, and kill any bacteria or fungus.
- Wiggle the ear to move the solution all the way down.
- Then, tilt the head again so that the affected ear is now down, and let the fluids drain out.