There is nothing worse than trying to explain to a child that they can’t go swimming or mess too much in the bath because they are not allowed to get water in their ears due to grommets or ear perforation due to a bad infection. In addition to that consider the nightmare which exists when trying to bathe a child who hates to have water in their ears! From both a parents and child perspective ensuring no water enters the ear canal is nothing short of a disaster!
From my experience there are two main situations which arise! One where a child is not allowed to get water in their ears for medical reasons such as infection or grommets and another where a healthy child hates the feeling of water in their ears and suggesting a bath makes you enemy number one!! In essence it involves a parent trying to explain or battle (let’s be honest here!) with a child who either wants to splash and dunk their head under the water or else coaxing and convincing a child that hates the bath that water in their ears is ok and there is no need to be afraid! Well I don’t know about your WonderBaba’s but mine certainly seem to follow my logical arguments!!
I recently came across a genius little product which solves the problems associated with both of these ‘water’ issues! May I introduce… Ear Band-Its!
First a tiny bit of background – Grommets are very little tubes which the doctor inserts into a little hole they form in the ear drum which allows the release of some fluid and the relief of the pressure build up caused by ‘glue ear’. Glue ear is also known as otitis media with effusion (OME). Sometimes after an acute ear infection some fluid may remain trapped behind the eardrum. Often there is no symptoms of OME – but the doctor will see the fluid using a device called an otoscope. This problem can sometimes affect hearing and on occasion difficulty hearing may be the only indication. Grommets normally stay in for about 6-12 months at which point they fall out. About 1 in 3 children need the grommets to be reinserted. When a child has grommets they need to avoid putting their heads under water or getting soapy water in their ears…. I have three kids and I would hate this challenge with any of them!! Out of my own three children I have two who don’t stop putting their heads under water to test out their princess Aerial theories and also a little 19 month old who I will just describe as less enthusiastic about finding Dory!!!!
I came across Ear Band-Its when a Mum was explaining to me how they changed her little girls life because at four years old she had been devastated when she was told she couldn’t risk getting water in her ears whilst swimming. Official advice is that you can swim with grommets so long as you don’t put your head under the water or get water in your ears.. How could that possibly be possible with a four year old swimmer!! Ear Band-Its are made of soft comfy neoprene material which sits over your children’s ears and fastens with a velcro type closure at the back. It has a special lining which stops it slipping down into their eyes or moving about annoying them. In fact for my girls it serves as a great way of keeping their hair out of their faces in the bath and pool! As you can see from this pic – my children are more Rapunzel than Ariel! The Ear Band-it is not waterproof itself but it sits on top and secures clever little ear plugs known as Ear Buddies which prevent water from penetrating your child’s ear canal. Ear Buddies are really comfy to wear and easy to insert – as a parent this was my first concern! As a Pharmacist I understand that Ear Buddies are safe and designed by an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist over ten years ago but as a Mum the practical aspects of the product had me concerned – That is why I asked my ever helpful volunteers to help me investigate the product! I have included the full official instructions for use below but basically you just mould them to shape and pop them in – they are made with special silicone material which floats so that if they fall out in the bath or pool they are really easy to find!! They are also easy to get out – a few tugs and wiggles of the ear lobe and out they come! The band itself is really durable and will probably last you around two years – the Ear Buddies need to be replaced after a couple of weeks or if they crack or tear at all.
They come in three different sizes so for children aged 1-3 years you’re most likely going to need a small and for children aged 3-10 years you would need a medium. They also come in different colours – all of which are bright and appealing for little swimmers!
I can’t think of a more useful product to have in your suitcase, swimming bag or bathtub this summer if you need to protect your child’s ears from water. I certainly wouldn’t be brave enough to tell my three that they can’t put their head under and must avoid splashing in the ears! Most importantly they loved the bright colours of the product and if a child is faced with wearing one of the comfy head bands or having to avoid water I don’t think you will have much resistance!
To buy Ear Band-Its visit:
Here is some really useful tips and info about inserting the putty buddies from Ear Band-Its themselves! There is a pack of floating silicone putty buddies in the pack with every Ear Band-It Ultra!
How to use Putty Buddies® silicone ear plugs:
- Do NOT force into ear canal.
- Handle with clean, dry hands. Be sure any sunscreen, tanning oils, or skin moisturizers are removed from hands prior to handling.
- Ear plugs should be placed over a clean and dry ear canal by an adult, never a child.
- Flatten plug with fingers and shape to cover outer ear until snugly fit.
- Do NOT tear plugs at any time. Use the entire ear plug for each ear. If plug appears to separate or crack, please do not use or attempt to remould together. Discard and use a new pair.
- Remove plugs by pressing up, under the backside of the ear. Then pull down on the ear lobe. Alternating these techniques several times will release the plug from over the ear canal for easy removal and storage.
- Discard after 2 weeks of use or when plugs become dirty, start to crack/crumble, or lose their tackiness.
- If any material remains in the ear canal after removal of the ear plug, do not attempt to remove this material yourself as you may push it deeper inside. Please see an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist (not a generalist) as soon as possible and they should be able to readily remove any material.
- Note that silicone is water repellent and will not likely be removed from skin or hair with water. If any silicone material gets stuck to skin or hair, use mineral oil or any natural oil-based product to remove the material.
- Putty Buddies® silicone ear plugs are reusable and should be stored in the handy carrying case. Discard the ear plugs when they become dirty or lost their tackiness. Silicone ear plugs are recommended by doctors for swimming, showering and general water protection. Not recommended for diving in depths greater than 10 feet. Although Putty Buddies® are not intended for noise prevention, the user will experience a slight reduction in hearing when plugs are worn. For maximum protection, ear plugs should be worn with the Ear Band-It® head band.
I hope you have found this article helpful and if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact me by sending a private message to the WonderBaba facebook page (www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) or by calling me (Sheena) at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 on 012600262. I’m always happy to help!
Ear Band-Its available here —-> http://www.milltownpharmacy.ie/search/ear%20ban