Kids, water, and summer time.  Pretty much inseparable.  Summer time can bring with it a lot of good reasons for the family’s health plans to be in place, with the health insurance premiums paid up to date.  It might also be a good time to look into some accident insurance.  Accident insurance will pay you cash to help meet the expenses of an accident.  An accident plan is a really good idea if you have a high deductible health plan.  You may use the money you get from an accident to help pay the deductible.  For instance, little Johnny is off to sleep-away camp.  While there, he goes horseback riding, falls off and breaks his arm.  Accident insurance will help pay for the emergency treatment he got to put his arm back together.

Perhaps Johnny doesn’t like horses but he loves to go swimming.  Swimmer’s ear occurs in the lining of the outer ear.  This lining contains glands that normally secrete a waxy coating that is both water-repellent and too acidic for invading germs to survive according to Dr. William Sears.  When the protective waxy coating gets washed away with frequent swimming, voila, swimmer’s ear may appear.

Dr. Sears says to suspect swimmer’s ear if your child’s ear canal “first itches, then rapidly becomes painful.  If he winces when you try to pull on the earlobe or press down on the small flap of tissue that covers the ear canal, it’s also likely to be swimmer’s ear.  As with middle ear infections; temporary minor hearing loss can occur.”

Now that you have confirmed that your child does have swimmers ear (otitis externa) he will need to be seen by a doctor.  This is where health plans come in handy!  When you get to the doctor’s office; report Kids Health, “if the doctor thinks you have swimmer’s ear, he or she will help you get rid of the infection.  To do that, the doctor will probably prescribe ear drops that contain an antibiotic to kill the bacteria.  Sometimes, the doctor may use a wick.  Not the wick on a candle!  This kind of wick is like a tiny sponge and it keeps the medicine in contact with the ear canal that’s infected.  The wick is removed after it has done its job.”  It takes about ten days for the infection to clear up and until the infection is gone…. no swimming!

The suggestions from HealthDay to prevent Swimmer’s ear are:

  • Keep water out of your ears while swimming by using ear plugs or a bathing cap.
  • Thoroughly dry your ears when you’re finished swimming.  Tilt your head in each direction, pull gently on your earlobe and pat dry with a towel.
  • Never insert anything (such as a finger or cotton swab) into the ear.
  • Don’t try to remove any ear wax yourself.  Seek the help of a physician.