Earache in children

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An earache can develop because of an infection, impacted earwax or an injury. Learn how to treat an earache at home and when to see a doctor.

Key points

  • An earache can be a sharp, dull or burning pain in one or both ears that can last for a short or long time.
  • Earaches are often caused by ear and other upper respiratory infections. Other causes include impacted earwax or injury.
  • You can help relieve a child's earache by encouraging them to swallow if the earache is due to changes in altitude. You can give over-the-counter pain medications if the earache is due to infection or injury.
  • Get medical help right away if your child has severe pain and fever, if they have new or worsening symptoms or if they have fluid or blood oozing from the ear.
Last updated: April 24th 2015