Health Watch — Sports for Kids: Swimmer's Ear

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about sports for kids and how to prevent injuries. With some activities, you may also need to take steps to prevent illness. Swimming is a good sport for overall physical conditioning, and it’s a fun activity, too. But it can lead to an external ear infection called swimmer’s ear, which happens when water gets trapped in the ear canal, providing a good environment for bacteria growth.

Dr. Peter Roland, chairman of otolaryngology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says swimmer’s ear may be prevented by keeping the ears dry. Try using ear plugs when swimming or drying the ears with a hair dryer after swimming. Don’t use cotton swabs or other objects to clean ears. The best way to treat swimmer’s ear is with antibiotic ear drops.


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April 2007

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