Like the adults, your toddler’s ears also produce ear wax. This sticky substance helps to keep your child’s ears clean and healthy by catching dust, dirt or bacteria that can damage her eardrum. The ear wax helps to prevent ear infections, which the toddlers are more prone to. It is a common practice for the parents to remove ear wax from their child’s ear in order to keep it clean. But this ear wax is not something undesirable. Well, this may come as a surprise to you. Continue reading all about ear wax and should it be removed from your toddler’s ears?
What Is Ear Wax And How It Is Formed?
Ceruminous glands in the outer ear canal produce ear wax. Ear wax is also known as cerumen. It is a combination of the secretion produced by the ceruminous glands, hair follicles, dead skin, sweat, and sebum. Ear wax usually accumulates, dries, and then travels to your child’s outer section of ear canal from where it drops out. At times it may happen that earwax accumulates quicker than what your toddler’s body can expel. This is when excess build-up can take place.
Importance Of Ear Wax In Toddlers?
Here are few ways in which ear wax can be important to your toddler:
- Providing a waterproof covering for the ear canal, the ear wax protects the eardrum and ear canal if water enters the ear
- By keeping the ear canal dry, ear wax helps in preventing the formation of bacteria, which give rise to an ear infection
- Ear wax traps the dirt, dust, and other external particles, thereby keeping them from harming or irritating the eardrum
- Earwax lubricates the skin and prevents any kind of dryness in the ear canal thereby avoiding itching
- Since ear wax is a mix of secretion of ceruminous glands and the follicles of hair, these prevent any insects that can enter your toddler’s ear canal
Why Earwax Need Not Be Removed
Parents tend to go mining for wax in their toddler’s ears even if when the child complains of the pain inside. Here are few reasons which tell you not to remove the wax forcefully from your toddler’s ears:
- Ear canals have a tendency to self-clean where the wax is gradually pushed out on its own from the eardrum to the outer section of the ear
- If you try to remove the wax with the help of cotton swabs, any kind of pins or any other device, there are chances that the wax can be pushed further inside thereby resulting in blocked ear canal
- Also these devices can harm the ear of your toddler resulting in temporary deafness or cerumen impaction
When To Remove Earwax In Toddlers?
Sometimes ear wax does not move out by itself and remains in the ears of your toddler. The excess buildup of wax in your toddler’s ear may result in wax pressing against the eardrum or obstructing the auditory canal, which can weaken and interfere with the baby’s hearing ability. This can also:
- Give rise to an earache and discomfort
- Cause itching in the ear
- Cause hearing some noises inside the ear
- Can result in excessive fluid secretion
- Cause pus in your toddler’s ears
Ways To Remove Ear Wax In Toddlers
If you see excessive buildup of ear wax in your toddler’s ears and there are no signs of pus, then you can try the following methods to remove ear wax from your toddler’s ears:
- If your toddler complains of an earache or any discomforts in the ear and if you see ear wax build up in his ear, you can try to wipe the outer side of the ear with a soft cloth
- You can put eardrops in your kid’s ears which may help to clear the ear wax. You can purchase ear drops from any drug store without prescription. These ear drops help by softening the wax so that it comes out more effortlessly
- Another way of softening the ear wax is putting mineral oil in your toddler’s ears. The wax that becomes loose can be washed off while giving shower to your toddler. You can dry the inside of your toddler’s ears by using a hair dryer on its lowest temperature setting
- You can even take your toddler to a doctor. He may clean your toddler’s ears by putting a pressurized stream of water into her ear to remove the wax. This technique will not cause any pain to your toddler
Can Earwax Build Up Be A Sign Of An Ear Infection?
Ear pain and itchiness that is sometimes due to accumulation of earwax can be comparable to the symptoms of an ear infection. But just the earwax won’t cause any fever or the sleeplessness in your toddler. This can be a sign of an infection. So if your toddler complains of an earache or pain which is accompanied by fever, rush him to your doctor.
If there’s an excessive buildup of wax, you may be able to see it outside your toddler’s ears. The normal wax is usually yellow or brown in color. If there is presence of pus or fluid that is bloody yellowish, then this can indicate an infection and you need to immediately take your toddler to a doctor.
As a parent, it is upto you to look after the hygiene of your child. But don’t stress a lot about the buildup of wax in your toddler’s ears. You should be concerned only when it causes any pain and distress to your child. In case of such symptoms it is better to show your toddler to your doctor.
Hope this information is of help to you. If you have anything to add to this, please leave it in the comments section below.