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Safety & Prevention

Learn how to give your child ear drops with these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Wash both your hands and your child’s hands.
  2. Rub the medicine bottle between the palms of your hands or place in warm water to warm the drops.
  3. Feel a drop to make sure the drops aren’t too hot or too cold.
  4. Ask your child to lie down or sit with the affect ear facing up.
  5. Observe for any discharge (think yellow or green substance), pus (cloudy), or blood. If there is any, do not give the medicine to your child.
  6. If there is drainage (clear liquid) remove it with a clean tissue or cotton topped applicator. Do NOT clean any more than the outer ear.
  7. Place the wrist of the hand you will be using to give the medicine on the cheek or head.
  8. Place the dropper/nozzle above your child’s ear canal.
    For Children under Age 3:
    • Gently pull the outer flap of the affected ear DOWNWARD and backward to straighten the ear canal.
    • Look for the ear canal to open.
    For Children over Age 3:
    • Gently pull the outer flap of the affected ear UPWARD and backward to straighten the ear canal.
    • Look for the ear canal to open.
  9. Squeeze the dropper slowly and firmly to release the appropriate amount of medicine on the side of the ear canal.
  10. Ask your child to remain lying down for about 1-2 minutes so the medicine will be absorbed.
  11. Gently rub the skin in front of the ear to help the drug flow to the inside of the ear.
  12. Place a cotton ball in your child’s affected ear to avoid leakage of medicine. Replace the cotton ball each time the medicine is given. Avoid inserting q-tips into the ear.
  13. Rinse the dropper tip in water after each use before capping or returning it to the bottle.
  14. Replace the cap immediately after use.
  15. Wash your hands and note the time the medication was given.

 

Last Updated
5/11/2013
Source
Adapted from Curriculum for Medication Administration in Early Education and Child Care Settings (Copyright © American Academy of Pediatrics 2012)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.