When ear discomfort or pain is mild
or comes and goes and occurs without other symptoms, home treatment may be all
that is needed to relieve your child's discomfort. Home treatment measures
include the following:
Encourage your child to swallow more often. The
discomfort may be caused by a blocked
eustachian tube that can occur with mild irritation in
the ear canal. Let a child younger than age 12 months drink from a bottle or
cup to try to help open the eustachian tube.
Some babies and children who have ear pain are more
comfortable in an upright position. Allow the child to rest in the position
that is most comfortable.
To relieve moderate to severe ear pain
while waiting to see your doctor, or to relieve a red, swollen external ear:
Apply heat to the ear to ease pain. Use a
warm washcloth. Be careful not to burn the skin around the ear. There may be
some drainage when the heat melts
Encourage your child to rest as
much as possible.
Medicine you can buy without a prescription
Try a nonprescription
medicine to help treat your child's fever or pain:
Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and
forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two
medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
Be sure to follow these
safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:
Carefully read and follow all labels on
the medicine bottle and box.
Give, but do not exceed, the maximum
Do not give your child a medicine if he or she
has had an
allergic reaction to it in the past.
Do not give naproxen (such as Aleve) to children younger than age 12 unless your child's
doctor tells you to.
Symptoms to watch for during home treatment
Call your child's doctor if any of the following occur during home
Your child's pain gets worse.
child develops a new fever.
New or different drainage from the ear
Your child's symptoms become more severe or more
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
July 25, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this