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How to Use Ear Drops

It's important to understand and follow your health care provider's directions so that you can give your child ear drops safely and correctly.

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  • Read the label carefully before giving your child the medicine and make sure it's labeled for otic (for the ear) use.

  • To use the drops:

    • Wash your hands before and after using the ear drops.

    • Rub the medicine bottle between the palms of your hands or place it in warm water to warm up the drops if the medicine was stored in the refrigerator.

    • Have your child lie on his or her side with the ear that is getting the medicine facing up. If there is any yellow or green pus or blood in or around the ear canal, do not give the ear drops.

    • If there is clear liquid coming from the ear canal, remove it with a clean tissue. Clean only the outside of the ear. Do not put anything inside your child's ear canal to clean it.

    • Gently pull the outer ear outward and upward or downward until you can see clearly into the ear canal. Steady the hand holding the medicine dropper by placing your wrist on your child's cheek or head.

    • Put the correct number of drops into your child's ear canal without touching the dropper to any part of the ear.

    • Have your child stay on his or her side for 2 minutes and gently rub the skin in front of the ear to help the ear drops flow inside the ear canal.

    • Before your child gets up, gently place a cotton ball into the ear canal to prevent the medicine from leaking out.

    • Rinse the tip of the dropper with clean water and put the cap on the medicine bottle right away.

  • Safely store the medicine out of the reach of children.

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  • You're not sure of the right dose.

  • Your child:

    • has new or worsening ear pain or dizziness

    • has pus or blood coming from the ear

    • develops a rash

    • doesn't feel better after you've followed the health care provider's instructions

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