Precautions for children with ear grommets and water
Ear grommets and swimming – can my child swim with grommets in?
Yes – your child can swim one week after the grommets are placed. Swimming at an ocean beach needs no special care. Showering in clean water will be fine without precautions. If your child swims in a public pool then a silicone swimming cap and goggles will be needed to prevent water getting in the ears. You do need to avoid getting dirty water into the ear. If needed you may plug your child’s ears with a cotton-wool ball covered in Vaseline, supported by a swim cap.
Care for a child with grommets
Fluid may drain from the ear following insertion of grommets. Water precautions may be needed – if the water is clean there are usually no problems. Usually the presence of grommets causes no pain – ear pain is one of the first signs of infection – another sign of infection is drainage from the ear. If this occurs concerns you should visit your local doctor who will contact your ENT surgeon. Do not use cotton buds to clean the ear canal or remove wax.
What if water gets in my child’s ears?
Hopefully no problems will develop. If an ear infection does develop then this will be seen as discharge (fluid) coming from the ear. In this situation treatment with ear drops will probably be needed. Your child should not swim until the infection is all better. Also note that swimming with an ear infection can spread the infection to other people.
Do I need to know anything else about grommets?
As hearing loss results from glue ear, it is important that your child has a hearing test after the glue ear is better. A hearing test will be recommended for most people with grommets soon after the procedure. If the hearing is not back to normal further investigation will be needed. If your child has grommets they will need to have their ears checked regularly.
If you have any questions about ear grommets and water contact your Ear Nose Throat Specialist.