A new study has revealed the shocking number of children who require hospital treatment each year, due to excessive use of cotton buds.
More than 263, 000 children in America had to be treated in hospital for ear injuries related to cotton-tip applicators between 1990 and 2010, the study, published in The Journal of Pediatrics, found.
Shockingly, this means 34 injuries occurred per day, with almost two-thirds of the patients in the study under the age of eight.
‘There’s this misconception that people need to clean their ears in the home setting and that this is the product to do that with,’ Dr Kris Jatana, senior author of the study and a pediatric ear, nose and throat specialist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio, told the US new site.
‘The ears themselves are typically self-cleaning.
‘It is risky to use cotton-tip applicators in the ear canal across all age groups, and certainly we are seeing way too many injuries as a result of this practice.’
Experts are concerned because it’s difficult to tell how deep a cotton bud can be pushed into an ear, and all it takes is a small movement to puncture the ear drum.
Cleaning your child’s ears
The NHS advises that you should never use fingers or any objects like cotton buds to remove earwax.
Doing so will only push it further and make it worse.
Usually earwax falls out on its own.
If it doesn’t and blocks the ear, the NHS advises putting two to three drops of olive or almond oil in the ear, twice a day, for a few days.
Over a week or two weeks, this will prompt large lumps of earwax to fall out of the ear, especially at night when lying down.
There is no proof that ear candles or ear vacuums get rid of earwax.