Swimmer's ear

2004/6/11

If your child complains of a severe itch in his ear after he's been swimming for a while he may have swimmer's ear. This occurs when water repeatedly gets trapped in the ear canal. The lining of the ear becomes wet and swollen -- causing the ear to itch feel painful and plugged up.

Here's how you can treat a mild case of swimmer's ear:

  • Give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain.
  • If the pain is moderate to severe apply a heating pad -- set on low -- for 20 minutes.
  • Avoid swimming until symptoms subside.  

Call your doctor as soon as possible if your child looks or acts sick has a fever (never give your child aspirin if they have a fever as it may increase the risk of Reye's Syndrome) or his outer ear is red and swollen.