Ear pain is a hallmark of childhood; almost all children have experienced earaches at one time in their short lives. Some ear pain is the sign of a bacterial infection, while other discomfort may be simply a result of congestion or a change in air pressure. Home remedies may be able to relieve a child's ear pain in many cases. If the earache persists after two days or is accompanied by a fever, facial swelling or dizziness, parents should seek medical attention for their child.
Treat your child's ear pain at home with a compress fashioned from a damp washcloth. Both cold and warm compresses can relieve ear pain; the temperature is a matter of personal choice. Be sure to test the water temperature before applying a warm compress to your child's ear. Apply the compress to the outer ear only, for up to 20 minutes at a time.
Show your child ways to relieve ear pain that is related to changes in air pressure while you are traveling by plane or on mountainous terrain. Children older than 4 years old can chew gum to unclog their ears, while preschoolers can achieve the same result by sucking on a lollipop. Babies and toddlers may feel less ear pain when offered a bottle or pacifier, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Give your child an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to ease earaches when a doctor is not available. Use the medication as directed to avoid an accidental overdose.
Help treat your child's ear pain by relieving nasal congestion. Saline and medicated nasal sprays or nose drops act as a decongestant, which in turn can make some types of ear pain feel better.