Ear Tubes and Water
Rodney Lusk, M.D.
Hi, I'm Doctor Rodney Lusk, Director of the Boys Town Ear, Nose and Throat Institute.
A common parent question regarding ear tubes is whether or not my child can participate in water activities. The new guidelines indicate that your doctor will not encourage the use a routine water precautions such as earplugs or headbands, or avoidance of swimming and water sports.
The new guidelines indicate that diving and swimming in lakes is permissible. If your child does experience recurrent infections after water exposure, your doctor may try using earplugs to decrease the number of ear infections. Do not use over-the-counter alcohol drops with tubes or with holes in the ear drum as this may cause significant burning.
For most children with tubes water precautions are not necessary.
If your child has active drainage or is having recurrent ear infections, earplugs or other precautions may be appropriate.
For more information and videos on pediatric ear, nose and throat conditions, please visit boystownent.org.
In our Pediatric Ear, Nose & Throat series, Dr. Rodney Lusk, Board Certified Otolaryngologist at the Boys Town Ear, Nose & Throat Institute, explains the new guidelines for protecting your child's ear tubes during water activities.