Can a Child Swim with an Ear Infection

Can a Child Swim with an Ear Infection?

At Baby Otter Swim School, we understand the importance of keeping your child safe, especially when it comes to their health and well-being. One common concern among parents is whether their child can swim with an ear infection.


Types of Ear Infections: There are different types of ear infections, and the suitability of swimming depends on the specific condition.


  • Outer Ear Infection: If your child has an outer ear infection, commonly known as swimmer’s ear, it’s crucial to wait until one week after treatment to allow the ear time to heal before letting your child swim. Swimming too soon may worsen the infection or cause discomfort.
  • Middle Ear Infections and Glue Ear: In cases of middle ear infections or glue ear, swimming is generally okay. However, it’s essential to avoid swimming if the eardrum is perforated, as water entering the ear can lead to complications. Always consult with your child’s healthcare provider for specific guidance.


Swimming with an Ear Infection: If your child’s ear infection is of the type that does not involve a ruptured eardrum, they can usually swim if it isn’t causing them pain. Submerging underwater and changes in water pressure can be uncomfortable with an ear infection. Still, playing in the water without going underwater is usually safe and enjoyable for the child. However, if there has been a rupture of the eardrum or if your child has PE (pressure equalization) tubes, it’s essential to consult your healthcare provider. In most cases, it’s recommended to wait until a full recovery before resuming swimming activities.

Tips to Prevent Swimmer’s Ear: Prevention is key to ensuring your child’s ear health while enjoying water activities. Here are some tips to prevent swimmer’s ear:


  • After showering, hair washing, or swimming, help the water drain from the ear by having your child tilt their head to one side.
  • Use a hair dryer set on low, held at arm’s length away from the ear, to gently dry it.
  • Avoid using cotton swabs (Q-tips®) to clean the ear, as this can push earwax deeper and trap water behind it.


Understanding Ear Infections: An ear infection occurs due to swelling in the middle ear cavity, often associated with a common cold. Fluid buildup in the ear creates an environment for bacteria and viruses to grow. Ear infections in children are most common between 6 months and 2 years of age but can occur until age 8. Common symptoms of an ear infection include:


  • Decreased hearing
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Ear drainage
  • Fever (in about half of children)
  • Fussiness
  • Loss of balance
  • Pain or discomfort in or around the ear
  • Tugging at or pulling at one or both ears


If your child experiences any of these symptoms, it’s essential to contact your child’s pediatrician for a proper evaluation and guidance.

can a child swim with an ear infection | Baby Otter Swim School

Can a Child Swim with an Ear Infection? Tips from Baby Otter Swim School

At Baby Otter Swim School, we prioritize your child’s safety and well-being. Always consult with your child’s healthcare provider to determine the best course of action regarding swimming with an ear infection. We believe that by providing this information, parents can make informed decisions and ensure their child’s safety and comfort in the water.