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How to Ease Your Child’s Earache at Home

It’s the middle of the night. You’re pacing the floor trying to soothe your child and their painful earache. You want the pain to stop fast—and so does your child. Things like this always seem to happen after hours, when you can’t get to your pediatrician or local urgent care. Don’t worry! The skilled specialists at Coastal Urgent Care of Baton Rouge have you covered.

While anyone can get an earache, they are much more common in children because their bodies are still developing. In fact, five out of six children will experience an ear infection before their third birthday. Earaches are among the most common reasons parents bring their children to the doctor.

We’re here to share the tools you need to help soothe your child’s earache pain until you can get the medical care they need.

Ease your child’s earache at home

Here are six at-home earache cures that can help your child feel better and get back to sleep:

  1. A cool or warm compress
    Try alternating cool and warm compresses every 10 to 15 minutes to ease an earache. This remedy is a fast and easy way to help ease the pain of your child’s earache. A cool compress will help reduce the warmth and inflammation while a warm compress can help increase blood circulation to accelerate healing.
  2. Over-the-counter pain relievers
    The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests children’s ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help alleviate the pain associated with an earache. They’re also safe to use if your child is on antibiotics. Just be sure to follow the dosing instructions on the label. Please note: It is unsafe for children under 16 years of age to take aspirin.
  3. Naturopathic drops
    Naturopathic eardrops made of herbal extracts in a base of olive oil may be just as effective as over-the-counter eardrops. They can be found in some drug stores.
  4. Sleep without putting pressure on the ear
    Have your child sleep with the affected ear raised instead of resting on the pillow. This may help it drain more efficiently if needed. You can also try elevating their head and upper body with extra pillows. This may also be useful for children who have an earache as well as congestion.
  5. Ginger or garlic
    Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help sooth a painful earache. Garlic has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Gently massage a ginger or garlic rub (a strained oil that was warmed with either ginger or garlic in it) around the outer ear canal. Do not place directly into the ear.
  6. Hydrogen peroxide
    Hydrogen peroxide is a common ingredient in eardrops because it works to soften and dissolve excess earwax. Though earwax is a natural cleanser, with antifungal and antibacterial properties, too much can cause problems like earaches, ear infections and itching inside the ears. Hydrogen peroxide can help keep your child’s ears clean and prevent dirt, germs or other bacteria from getting into the middle ear. Swab a tiny amount of hydrogen peroxide onto the ear canal, but be careful that too much doesn’t get into the ear itself.

If your child is struggling with an ear infection, a little distraction may also help take their mind off of the pain. Try putting on their favorite movie, letting them have their favorite snack or getting them engaged in a favorite activity.

When to get medical attention for your child’s ear infection

Many ear infections resolve themselves in about a week or two, with symptoms starting to get better within the first few days. Be sure to check with your child’s pediatrician or local urgent care as soon as possible if your child is experiencing any ear pain, especially if they are less than two years of age.

If your child is running a high fever (between 102 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit), or their fever lasts more than 24 hours, seek immediate medical care. Your doctor can provide guidance on whether you should try home remedies for your kid’s ear infection or consider an antibiotic.

If your child is experiencing a painful earache and you need relief fast, please visit Coastal Urgent Care of Baton Rouge. We are open for walk-in appointments seven days a week, from 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.