Fast Earache Remedies for Children


Nobody likes being in pain, but kids, especially, can have a hard time with it. It’s easy to forget as adults how used to being uncomfortable we might have become over time. Your children haven’t had that dubious luxury — the pains they feel are still new and very unpleasant, and they don’t know how to deal with them as we do. 

Likewise, they’re more psychologically dependent on other people – when something is wrong, they look to their parents or another authority figure to make things better.

As such, you will most likely be called upon to use your arcane adult arts to assuage the affront to their aural appendages. There are several remedies you can use towards this end, all of which can be rather immediate.

Pain Killers

You can often use over-the-counter painkillers to help deal with the pain, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, and these can be safely administered to children in controlled doses. However, keep in mind that aspirin is strongly cautioned against in children even as old as nineteen.

If you’re uncertain what dose to give your child, seek the advice of your pediatrician, family doctor, or pharmacist.

Warm Flannel

If you’re uncertain about whether you want to give your kids painkillers, then an alternative method is to use a warm flannel. Soak it in some hot water, rinse out the excess, and press it against the child’s ear for a few moments. After a while, the heat should start to soothe the nerve endings in the ear and lessen the pain. Reheat and repeat as necessary.

A cold pack also works as an alternative treatment for an earache. You can either use a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel or a specially made cold pack and, again, press directly against the ear.

Ear Drops

Much like painkillers, these can be bought over the counter. That said, you should make sure you get a recommendation from your doctor, first giving them an account of all symptoms. In some cases, the earache can be made worse by mindlessly dropping liquids into your child’s ear.


Sometimes an earache is just an earache, and other times it’s something else. If you suspect the earache has no serious cause, or if you lack immediate access to any other treatments, try giving your child an activity or engaging chore. Fortunately for you, children tend to be easily distracted. This can buy you some time to figure out if you’re looking at a potential ear infection or just an upcoming test at school.

If you find, however, that the pain is so severe they can’t focus on being distracted, it could be a sign of a more serious issue.

When to Go to a Doctor

In most cases an earache is nothing serious and is rarely considered an emergency worth a visit to the doctor’s office. Within a few days, such earaches often clear up on their own. However, there are occasions where more urgent actions are required.

You should consider a visit to the family doctor whenever the pain is particularly intense, the cause of the ache is a physical object, or if the earache is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, vomiting, or discharge from the ear. Familiarize yourself with pediatric urgent care centers like Night Lite Pediatrics, so you can get there quickly — especially if there is a foreign object in the ear causing the pain. Likewise, if symptoms do not improve within a few days, consider the problem serious enough to merit a doctor’s appointment.

Christian Mills is a freelance writer and family man who contributes insights and advice for parents, as well as a variety of other topics ranging from health to home improvement.

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