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Earache Remedies for Children

Updated on December 11, 2011

Earaches are common in children. The ear infection that is causing the pain often resolves on its own with the use of earache remedies. These earache remedies are easy ways to treat ear infections at home. If the problem persists, the child will need to see a doctor for medical treatment.

Telling if an infant or toddlers has an earache can be challenging. Since toddlers and babies can't explain why they are crying or fussy, parents need to check for clues. Once the typical causes for crying have been ruled out, the parent may want to pay attention to the child's ears.

When a baby has an earache, the baby may tug or pull at the ear. Often, the outer portion of the ear will look red, but this can be difficult to determine if the infant has been crying. Once the crying has been stopped, the parent can look for any lingering ear redness.

An earache remedy is over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen. Children's Tylenol or other acetaminophen brand can help reduce the pain in the ear. The parent should follow the package instructions for administering the medicine. Pain relievers that contain aspirin should never be given to children.

A warm washcloth can do wonders for earache pain. A clean washcloth can be made wet with hot water and thoroughly wrung out to make the cloth as dry as possible. After folding the washcloth in half, place the damp washcloth on the ear. Some people make washcloths warm for this purpose by heating them in the clothing dryer or with a hairdryer. The parent just needs to make sure that the cloth is not too hot for the child.

Some parents place a heating pad on the child's ear. While this can be acceptable for older children who can vocalize if the pad is too hot, it is not recommended for babies or young children. Children of any age should not go to sleep with a heating pad as they could get burned.

Chiropractic treatment may help children who have frequent ear infections. According to the American Chiropractic Association, chiropractic ear infection treatment works by helping the ear drain fluid efficiently. This prevents fluid buildup which can lead to an infection.

Allergy testing and treatment is another possible treatment method for recurrent ear infections. Some medical sources say that there may be a link between allergies and ear infections in some children. The link between allergies and ear infection is not yet fully understood, but it may be worthwhile to have allergy testing if the child has frequent earaches.

Earache home remedies may call for drops to be put in the ears such as drops of tea tree oil or onion juice. Parents should not put anything in the ears unless a doctor has advised the parents to do so. If the child still has an earache after a few days of using earache remedies, the parent should consult the physician.


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    • Sheila Wilson profile image

      Sheila Wilson 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Good to know. Thank you, suejanet. Doesn't that leave a residue? Do you think there is a chance it could make it worse? I just wonder if the earache would be caused by trapped fluid, I would think that adding oil would make it worse. Obviously, it worked for you though.

    • suejanet profile image

      suejanet 6 years ago

      I have actually used warm olive oil for my children and it definately works.