Home Remedies for Ear Pain in Children

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.

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Things You'll Need

  • Washcloth

  • Chewing gum or lollipop

  • Pacifier or bottle

  • Pain relievers

  • Saline nasal spray

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