Ear Infections and Swim Lessons: Everything You Need to Know

Children First aid

Contracting an ear infection messes up the little kids’ fun. At the same time, the pain they feel limits their activities and, in turn, causes them stress.

But of all the activities an ear infection disrupts, kids swimming lessons don’t have to be part of them.

An ear infection won’t always put a pause on your children’s swimming lessons because there are many ways to manage it. Read on to discover the best coping mechanisms for different types of ear infections as well as the tips you’ll need to prevent an ear infection from happening in the first place.

What Happens When They Get an Inner Ear Infection?

An inner ear infection pops up right after your kids catch a cold. It’s usually painful and requires a routine check-up. This infection also affects the middle ear, but parents tend to find out only after the kids have been taken to the paediatrician.

Doctors will most often recommend the use of antibiotics, but that shouldn’t stop your kids from engaging in swimming lessons. Since the ear is protected by ear drums, water won’t get into it easily. Therefore, there’s no risk of the infection worsening.

At the same time, your kids can swim in warm water as it helps with quick recovery. Parents should always inform swim instructors of an ear infection so that they can avoid deep dives during practice.

What Happens in the Case of an Outer Ear Infection?

This case here is for older kids and adults. If you’re the type to spend long periods in the water, chances are that you’re getting an outer ear infection. It’s also known as a swimmer’s ear.

This type of infection occurs when water gets trapped in the ear canal. This results in increased ear moisture, making it easier for bacteria to multiply. It also occurs right after bathing. Other causes include wax build-up, regular use of Q tips, and contact with chemicals.

When this type of infection occurs, the best advice is to stay out of the water for some time. This could range from 7 to 10 days, but in most cases, it’s better to follow your doctor’s instructions.

Preventing Swimmer’s Ear In Your Kids

One thing to note about swimmers’ ear and other ear infections is that some kids are more prone to them than others. However, you still need to take certain precautions during swimming lessons to prevent them altogether. Here are some preventive measures you need to know:

  • Always dry your kids after a bath or swimming lesson, especially the ears, and always tilt their heads to let the water flow out of the canal.
  • For kids who are vulnerable to ear infections, encourage the use of swim caps and ear plugs. Doing so will protect your kids’ ear canals from water.
  • Always minimise the use of Q tips, cotton swabs, and other foreign objects, such as pencils or fingers, for cleaning the ears.
  • Ensure your kids take their swimming lessons in a clean environment to prevent any bacterial infection.