Children's ENT

Ear Wax Removal for Children: Tips and Best Practices

July 7, 2023
Ear Wax Removal for Children Tips and Best Practices

As parents, we constantly strive to ensure our children’s well-being, from their nutrition to their overall health. However, ear wax buildup is one aspect that often gets overlooked but can cause discomfort and even affect their hearing if not addressed promptly.

That is why understanding the ins and outs of ear wax removal for children is crucial for their comfort and hearing clarity.

In this guide, we will equip you with invaluable insights, practical tips, and best practices for safely managing ear wax in children. Keep reading to find out more.

The importance of ear wax

The Importance Of Ear Wax-Ear Wax Removal

That waxy substance produced by our bodies often gets a bad rap and is commonly seen as a nuisance that requires regular cleaning and removal. However, it is important to recognize that ear wax serves an essential role in maintaining the health and well-being of our ears in both children and adults.

One of the main functions of ear wax is to protect the delicate structures within our ears. It acts as a natural barrier, shielding the ear canal and eardrum from foreign particles, preventing them from reaching and potentially causing harm. Think of it as a sticky, protective shield that traps unwanted intruders before they can penetrate deeper into the ear. 

Beyond its protective role, ear wax also plays a vital part in lubricating and moisturising the skin within the ear canal. The ear canal contains delicate tissues that require proper hydration to function optimally.

Understanding ear wax buildup in children

Understanding Ear Wax Buildup In Children-Ear Wax Removal

While ear wax serves these essential functions, it is also necessary to maintain a proper balance. Buildup can be even trickier in children, which may warrant the need for ear wax removal.

This is because children’s ear canals are often narrower than those of adults. The anatomical difference poses challenges when it comes to the natural flow of ear wax out of the ear. The narrowness of the ear canals also makes it easier for ear wax to accumulate and become trapped, leading to an increased likelihood of buildup over time.

Additionally, children may have a natural curiosity and tendency to explore their bodies, including their ears. This curiosity can manifest in behaviours such as frequently inserting objects, like fingers or toys, into their ear canals. These actions not only disrupt the natural flow of wax but also introduce additional debris that can contribute to the buildup.

Excessive wax accumulation in children may lead to a blockage, causing discomfort, temporary hearing loss, and even infections. This impacts children’s hearing and overall health, as well as affects their ability to communicate, learn, and engage with their surroundings.

How to manage ear wax buildup in children

When it comes to managing ear wax buildup in children, parents play a vital role in maintaining their little ones’ ear health. A few proactive steps can empower you to effectively address excess ear wax and promote your child’s comfort and well-being.

These are some tips recommended by ENT doctors.

  • Observation and monitoring

Pay attention to your child’s behaviour and any signs of ear discomfort or hearing issues. Regularly check their ears for visible signs of excessive wax accumulation, such as a yellowish or brownish appearance. Observing and monitoring their ear health helps you to catch potential issues early on.

  • Gentle cleaning

In most cases, the ears are self-cleaning and excessive intervention is not required. However, if you notice a buildup of ear wax, gentle cleaning can help alleviate the issue. Use a soft, damp cloth to clean the outer part of the ear, avoiding the ear canal. Remember to never insert cotton swabs or any other objects into the ear, as they can push the wax deeper or cause injury.

Learn more: This is why you should never dig your ear with a cotton bud!

  • Over-the-counter ear drops

These drops usually contain gentle ingredients like hydrogen peroxide or saline solution that can help soften and facilitate ear wax removal. Follow the instructions provided with the product and consult an ENT doctor if you have any concerns or questions.

  • Seek professional help

If you are uncertain about managing your child’s ear wax buildup, notice signs of infection like ear pain, discharge and tugging, or observe learning difficulties or slow language development due to hearing difficulties, it is advisable to seek professional help. An ENT doctor in Singapore will examine your child’s ears, determine the extent of the wax buildup, and recommend appropriate treatment options. They may perform safe and effective ear wax removal procedures, such as suction or irrigation, if necessary.

Learn more: This is how an ENT Specialist removes your impacted earwax

Protect little ears for a bright future

Protect Little Ears For A Bright Future-Ear Wax Removal

Source: Youtube

With a passion for providing ENT care for children, Dr Gan Eng Cern understands the unique needs and challenges that little ones face when it comes to their ears. Thus, he believes in a patient and comforting approach to ensure their well-being during ear wax management — you can rest assured your child will be in capable hands.

Get in touch with us today!

When Should You See an ENT Specialist in Singapore?

  • Any ear, nose or throat symptoms that you are troubled with or concerned about
  • Persistent blocked nose with mouth breathing or snoring

Dr Gan Eng Cern

Dr Gan Eng Cern is a distinguished ENT doctor with fellowship training. In addition to his clinical practice as an ear, nose and throat specialist in Singapore, Dr. Gan has contributed to the academic field as a Senior Clinical Lecturer at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. He is recognised for his extensive research work, with numerous contributions to reputable international ENT journals. Dr Gan is also highly sought after as a speaker and has shared his surgical knowledge as a surgical dissection teacher at various prominent ENT conferences and courses.


  • 2020 – Reader’s Choice Gold Award for Best ENT Specialist (Expat Living Singapore)
  • 2016 – Best Educator Award (Eastern Health Alliance)
  • 2016 – “Wow” Award (Patient Compliment)
  • 2014 – Eastern Health Alliance Caring Award – Silver
  • 2014 – 19th Yahya Cohen Memorial Lectureship (awarded by the College of Surgeons, Academy of Medicine Singapore for best scientific surgical paper)
  • 2012 – Human Manpower Development Award (Ministry of Health, Singapore)
  • 2007 – Singhealth Best Doctor Award


  • MBBS – Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)
  • MRCS (Edin) – Member of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • MMed (ORL) – Master of Medicine in ENT (National University of Singapore)
  • FAMS – Fellow of the Academy of Medicine Singapore

Why Choose Dr Gan Eng Cern


Reliable & Reputable ENT Expert

Experienced and patient ENT Specialist who has your best interests at heart. We aim to provide you with accessible and specialized care for any ENT condition in a comfortable setting.


Friendly & Helpful Clinic Staff

Our friendly staff will assist you to the best of our ability and we are happy to accept most insurance providers and assist with E-filing with relevant insurance providers or Medisave.


Advanced ENT Equipment & Fully Equipped Facility

Our ENT Specialist, Dr Gan Eng Cern, will be able to diagnose and offer personalised treatments for your specific ENT condition. You can expect a high level of ENT care in a spacious setting with in-house minor surgical, endoscopy, allergy testing and microscopy services.


Financial Options

There are various financial options available for you to ensure that you are able to receive the most optimal treatment and care. Our ENT clinic staff will be able to assist you with your medical insurance claims and work with your chosen healthcare organization to minimize the hassle and paperwork required. In some cases, you may be able to utilise the funds in your Medisave account to defray part of the costs of your treatment. As our clinic is accredited by the Medisave board, we are able to process your claims from your Medisave for certain clinic procedures.

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