Monday, April 19, 2010

How do I get earwax out of my kid's ears?

I often see kids who are complaining of ear pain and have earwax in their ears. The problem is that in order to see if they have an ear infection, I need to get the wax out of their ear. And most kids don't like that!

If your child has earwax and does not have an earache or any signs of illness then don't worry about it. Most wax makes its way out eventually and you don't need to do anything.

My favorite way to get wax out is with a curette. These are little sticks with a small spoon shaped end that are good for scooping wax out.

The problem is they are not for the faint of heart in a squirming child and there is risk of perforating the ear drum if the kid is squirming. So I don't recommend them without knowing what you are doing. I use them in combination with the otoscope so I can see what I'm doing.

There are several products that can be used to get wax out at home.

One is hydrogen peroxide. You should soak a cotton ball with hydrogen peroxide and stick it in your child's ears at night. If you do this several nights in a row it should soften the wax so that it will either fall out or you child's medical provider can get it out easily.

Another option are over the counter earwax removal products. Two that I think work well are Debrox and Murine

You can also try a syringe with warm water squirted into the ear but this can be messy and have limited results. Some people have also told me they have used a bulb syringe which is a little easier because they can direct it into the ear canal.

If all else fails then you should take your child to her health care provider and they can get it out. Sometimes it is just easier to have us do it because we have the benefit of being able to see what we are doing.

Subscribe in a reader


  1. I was just wondering how to clear out my own ears. Perhaps I will try some peroxide cotton balls tonight.

  2. that works well.. look for another earwax post coming up soon.