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Ear drops

Article Translations: (Spanish) (Hmong) (Somali)

How should I prepare my child?

  • Explain to your child what you are going to do before you start.
  • Describe what you are doing as you do it.
  • Speak in a calm, reassuring voice.
  • Praise your child when you are done.

How should I give the ear drops?

For some children, especially young ones, it can be hard to give this medicine. But you must do it as often and for as long as prescribed in order to get the desired results.

  1. If the medicine is cool, warm it to body temperature by putting it in your pocket.
  2. Wash your hands well before and after giving the drops.
  3. Read the prescription label and directions carefully.
  4. Have your child lie down, or hold your child in your lap.
  5. If your child needs help holding still, have someone hold your child for you, or you can use a blanket for swaddling. If you are alone, here is another way to safely hold your child in the correct position:
    • Sit on the bed or floor with the child's head between your thighs and the arms under your legs.
    • Place your lower legs over your child's legs if needed.
  6. Turn your child's head so the affected ear is facing up.
  7. Straighten the ear canal as follows:

    • For children younger than 3 years, gently pull the outer ear down and toward the back of the head.
    • For children older than 3 years, gently pull the outer ear up and toward the back of the head.
  8. Put in the prescribed number of drops, aiming against the side of the ear canal, not directly in the center of the opening.
  9. Keep your child lying down with the ear up for 1 or 2 minutes, or as recommended by the doctor. Gently massage the area in front of the ear.
  10. You may place a cotton ball loosely in the ear to prevent leaking.

What else do I need to know?

Store ear drops at room temperature unless you are told otherwise.

Questions?

This is not specific to your child, but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call the clinic.


Last reviewed 8/2015

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Family Resource Center library, or visit www.childrensmn.org/educationmaterials.

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