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Health Tip: Swimmer's Ear

Avoid going in the water until the pain subsides

(HealthDayNews) -- If your child complains of a severe itch in his ear after he's been swimming for a while, he may have swimmer's ear. This occurs when water repeatedly gets trapped in the ear canal. The lining of the ear becomes wet and swollen -- causing the ear to itch, feel painful and plugged up, according to the San Diego Children's Hospital.

Here's how you can treat a mild case of swimmer's ear:

  • Give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain.
  • If the pain is moderate to severe, apply a heating pad -- set on low -- for 20 minutes.
  • Avoid swimming until symptoms subside.

Call your doctor as soon as possible if your child looks or acts sick, has a fever, or his outer ear is red and swollen.

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