What is earwax and what is it used for?
Also called “earwax”Cerumen is a yellowish, waxy substance secreted by the glands of the external auditory canal.
dr Amine Harichane, Pediatric ENT Surgeon “Even though earwax may appear ‘dirty’ in appearance, it is actually a valuable ally for the ear! This substance lubricates the skin of the ear canal and protects the eardrum from external influences.”
It actually acts as filteredat once chemically and mechanicallywhich prevents bacteria, dust or fungi from entering the ear canal.
Up to the age of 5 or 6, the child’s ear, which is particularly susceptible and sensitive to infections, produces earwax in a physiological and normal manner.
Why is it important to clean newborn and baby ears?
As healthy as baby’s earwax production is, care should be taken to ensure that it does not build up in the ear canal and clog it. “The daily cleaning of the ear therefore has a preventive role : avoiding the formation of a cerumen capwhich can favor the occurrence of a ear infection external“Dr. Harichane insists.
The ear canal of very young children is also very narrow, further increasing the risk of accumulation and blockage.
When should baby’s ears be cleaned?
The best time to clean your ears is the bathroom : a ritual very popular with babies in general, which makes them particularly relaxed. Washing the ears is ideally done with the water from the shower, at the same time as the toddler’s shampoo.
Why should cotton swabs be banned?
While it may be tempting to use a cotton swab to remove excess earwax lining the inside of baby’s ear, it is farnot recommended.
dr Amine Harichane “On the one hand, the cotton swab risks damaging the particularly fragile and thin skin of the ear canal and increasing the risk of infection. And on the other hand, it is very difficult to assess the proximity of the eardrum. which poses a significant risk of perforation”
Finally, beyond the possibility of injury, the Q tip tends to push earwax to the bottom of the ear canal and therefore increases the risk of earplug formation.
To effectively and easily clean a toddler’s ears, shower water and the shampoo used to wash his head are perfect. “When washing the baby, just run soapy water into the ears and rinse thoroughly with the shower head,” describes the ENT surgeon, who recalls that the anatomy of the ear allows all the water that gets into the ear to be effectively drained .
“Then when you come out of the bathroom you just have to put a clean towel against the pavilion of the ear, that will.” absorbed by capillary action that remainder water present in the Management“adds Dr. Harichane.
Spray, saline solution, compresses, cotton swabs for babies: useful or gimmick?
Many accessories are traditionally recommended for cleaning baby ears. If they are not always advised against however, there is little justification for their use.
“That sprays not have for ear never proved their effectiveness and are not reimbursed by social security,” states the HNO. Physiological serum is not discouraged, but it is of no particular interest in relation to tap water, “it is better to keep it for washing your nose and eyes,” recommends the specialist baby cotton swabwhose enlarged shape limits the risk of injury: they can possibly be used to clean the pinna, but they remain superfluous. Finally, sterile compresses can allow the auricle to dry after the shower, although the towel is also more effective and much more economical and ecological.
Ear candling: yes or no and from what age?
Advertised and sold as a natural and effective means of cleaning the ears, ear candles are designed to soften earwax and cause it to rise through a “chimney effect”. There are children’s models whose diameter is adapted to the size of their ear canal.
Aside from the associated risk of burns, ear candles are to be avoided, even more so in children than in adults!
“These candles can create inflammationout of infections and even auditory canal stenosis“Warn the ENT.
Baby complains, seems to be in pain, and after showering or swimming touches his ear and earwax is pouring out of his ear? A cork probably formed in his ear canal. Try to Plug a cork yourself Hearing damage in young children formally discouraged. “Once inserted superficially, the plug can be removed by the pediatrician with a small curette. If it is inserted deeply, it can only be removed by the ENT with a small jet of water or an ear aspirator that is perfectly adapted to the baby. Harichane.