3 Home Remedies for Earaches in Children

We're going to teach you a series of home remedies for earaches in children that can help reduce the problem before taking pharmacological measures.
3 Home Remedies for Earaches in Children
Saúl Sánchez Arias

Reviewed and approved by the nutritionist Saúl Sánchez Arias.

Last update: 09 November, 2022

Earaches in children can become very annoying and frequent, either due to inflammatory or infectious processes. On certain occasions, they’re the cause of the crying that doesn’t stop, and therefore, it’s best to consider a series of home remedies to alleviate the discomfort. In any case, when the intensity of pain is high and doesn’t yield with the use of natural measures, it’s important to consult with a doctor.

First of all, you need to know that certain daily practices can cause discomfort in the ear, such as scratching the ear canal, the use of cotton swabs, and also, the entry of water during a swim in the pool. All these factors can irritate the skin of the canal or the tympanic membrane and it’s best to solve the problem as soon as possible.

Remedies to relieve earaches in children

The following remedies that we’re going to present can help alleviate earaches in children. Now, if they don’t stop or recur over time, it’s best to visit a specialist to carry out relevant tests.

A child holding her hand over hear ear and looking like she's in pain.

1. Dry with a hairdryer

Applying heat to the ear canal can be soothing. It’s important that the air’s not very hot and that it’s applied at a certain distance from the ears, for no more than 2 to 3 minutes. The application should never be direct to avoid burns, and the objective is to dry the outer ear.

By means of dry air, it’s possible to evaporate the liquid that has accumulated inside the ear and in this way, reduce the annoying or painful sensation.

2. Put lavender oil in the external ear canal

It’s also possible to apply a few drops of lavender oil or calendula flower extract topically in order to relieve earaches in children. There’s some evidence in this regard, as stated by a systematic review prepared by the Cochrane Collaboration.

The supplementation of certain vitamins could also be considered as a preventive measure. Specifically, a vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of suffering from respiratory diseases, such as otitis. Therefore, the inclusion of a supplement of this micronutrient in the nutritional regimen could be beneficial. However, in any case, it’s best to first consult with a specialist and not to medicate the child without medical consent.

3. Apply a few drops of ginger in water to the ear

Ginger is one of the spices with the most beneficial properties that exist. It’s capable of promoting weight loss and also helping to control certain inflammatory and oxidative mechanisms.

Likewise, it could reduce the risk of developing some infections, such as respiratory infections, when ingested in infusions. This is stated in a study published in Clinical Nutrition ESPEN.

To combat earaches in children, simply mix a little ginger powder in water, let it rest for a few minutes. Then, drain and apply a couple of drops to the painful area. It’s worth mentioning that this home remedy doesn’t have scientific evidence to support it.

Other Precautions Needed to Relieve Earaches in Children

Earaches can be prevented by taking a number of precautionary measures, such as preventing water from entering the ear canal when children swim in swimming pools or in the sea. For this, there are a series of plugs that are very effective and that adapt easily to this cavity.

Also, the habit of cleaning the nostrils with seawater can be beneficial, as it prevents dirt and germs from accumulating. This translates into a lower rate of infections and a more efficient control of inflammatory mechanisms in the body.

Finally, the use of cotton swabs to remove the wax from the external ear is discouraged due to the risk of traumatic injuries to this organ.

When to go to the doctor?

A doctor looking into a little girl's ear.

If earaches become a frequent and increasingly severe problem, it may be necessary to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. In this case, it’s important to rule out any infectious disease, such as otitis, which requires other types of treatments.

There are home remedies to combat earache

As you can see, there are some simple home remedies that can help improve the painful sensation in your child’s ear. They’re quite effective and are minimally invasive, so they’re worth a try.

However, they’re not a solution for all earaches, as in some cases, you need to resort to other treatments.

Finally, remember that to maintain good health, it’s important to maintain proper habits from the first stages of life. Eating well, exercising regularly, getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night, and being exposed to sunlight are key actions for the future. These customs also reduce the chances of suffering ailments or infections in the body.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Mengual Gil JM. Vitamina D por encima del año de vida, ¿es necesaria o está de moda? En: AEPap (ed.). Curso de Actualización Pediatría 2018. Madrid: Lúa Ediciones 3.0; 2018. p. 17-30. Disponible en: http://www.aepap.org/sites/default/files/017-030_vitamina_d_por_encima_del_ano.pdf
  • Vahid, F., & Rahmani, D. (2021). Can an anti-inflammatory diet be effective in preventing or treating viral respiratory diseases? A systematic narrative review. Clinical nutrition ESPEN, 43, 9–15. Disponible en: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnesp.2021.04.009
  • Foxlee, R., Johansson, A., Wejfalk, J., Dooley, L., & Del Mar, C. (2006). Topical analgesia for acute otitis media.
    Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (3), 1-42. [CD005657]. Disponible en: https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD005657.pub2
  • van Uum RT, Venekamp RP, Zuithoff NP, Sjoukes A, van de Pol AC, Schilder AG, Damoiseaux RA. Improving pain management in childhood acute otitis media in general practice: a cluster randomised controlled trial of a GP-targeted educational intervention. Br J Gen Pract. 2020 Oct 1;70(699):e684-e695.
  • Worrall G. Acute earache. Can Fam Physician. 2011 Sep;57(9):1019-21, e320-2.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.