Parents Are Urged Not to Clean Their Children’s Ears With Cotton Buds to Prevent Ear Injuries
Cotton swabs are useful for many applications from applying make-up to dabbing or cleaning small wounds in narrow folds of the skin. But doctors are reminding parents not to use the cotton buds to clean wax out of their children’s ears. It’s a long known warning many parents are aware of, yet doctors are still seeing children with cotton bud related ear injuries.
It is one of the most common cause of injuries to young children who are brought into the emergency room. In the US, over 263,000 children were treated in ER due to cotton tip-applicator related injuries between 1990 and 2010. Children under 8 made up 67 percent of the children admitted and most of these were aged under 3.
A child can receive terrible damage to their ear if the cotton bud is forced too far down the ear canal. Sometimes the cotton swab can get stuck in the ear canal, causing the eardrum to be damaged.
Removal of the cotton bud is the least of the worries when children are admitted to ER. Children can experience hearing loss, dizziness and bleeding in the ear when a cotton bud is forced into their ear canal.
Ear wax is normal in children and adults. Doctors say there is no need to use cotton buds to clean ears as they are self-cleaning and the wax will fall out on its own. If your child has an excessive amount of wax, your child should be taken to a doctor.
Cotton bud ear injuries are preventable and can be avoided by simply removing all cotton buds from the bathroom and placing them where an adult can reach for them when needed for other purposes. Children themselves can be inquisitive when they find cotton buds, so its best to remove the temptation for them to poke the buds into places they shouldn’t.