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Children’s Earplugs for Swimming: Best Kids Ear Protection

Ear protection for kids is important.

These ear plugs for kids are made from hypoallergenic materials, and will not cause irritation when worn for long periods of time.

There are many different reasons why earplugs are important for kids. One is to prevent swimming ear infections.

Keep reading to learn more about the best ways to protect your ears.

Why are earplugs important for kids

Swimming earplugs for kids are an essential swimming aid in some circumstances. Your children’s ears are not as robust as yours, so if they get water with bacteria in their ears, there is far more chance of them getting an infection.

This article will cover children’s ear plugs for swimming, preventing infections, factors that make your child more at risk, and ear infection treatment. Also, I recommend the best ear protection devices to prevent swimmers ear in your kids.

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“Swimmer’s ear is an infection of the outer ear. Symptoms are typically pain, drainage, swelling, and hearing loss "

Why Consider Swimming Ear Plugs For Kids?

Kids have far more sensitive, smaller ears than adults, they have less developed immunities, and their ears are harder to dry. These factors mean it is far more likely for your child to develop an ear problem, like swimmers' ear.

Why Kids Get More Ear Infections

Ear infections happen when bacteria build up in the middle ear of your child. There will always be some bacteria in the ear, but trying to clean it out incorrectly will cause more problems than it solves. (See later on how to clean a child’s ear)

Your children are not as developed as you are, therefore they get more earaches and infections. The tubes of the ear are a lot narrower, meaning that it is harder for any water that gets in there to drain away again.

Kids Earplugs For Swimming – Are They Important?

Children’s and toddler ear plugs for swimming are more important than they are for adults. Children’s ears are different, and children have weaker immune systems. You probably remember getting more earaches as a child.

Ears are a lot harder to dry than other parts of the body. The inner part of the ear should never be dried by inserting things like tissue, or cotton buds/Q-Tips.

The best way to stop ear infections in your kids is to use child or toddler ear plugs for swimming. Should you have a child that has an infection, or has sensitive ears, then they may need them in the bath/shower as well.

Why don’t all kids need earplugs in the shower? Well, several factors influence the start of an ear infection. One of the most important of these is the cleanliness of the water. The fewer bacteria in the water, the less chance of an infection, and the water we shower in, in most developed country’s is spotless.

The Factors That Affect Ears Problems

Cleanliness Of The Water.

As mentioned above. Water in a swimming pool is usually pretty clean, as it is treated commonly with chlorine, which prevents bacteria growth. However, many people use pools, and kids will pee in them. So to be sure, or if your child has sensitive ears, use plugs.

Medical History.

If your child has had any operations on their ears, are continually getting ear infections or they have had swimmers' ear in the past. Then they may need to use child/toddler swimming ear plugs more than a child that has never had these conditions.


This may seem counter-intuitive, but if there is soap in the water then it will break the surface tension of that water. What this basically means is that there is less resistance between the ear canal and the water. This means that the water can move further into the ear and do so more quickly. If the water is clean, and the ears appropriately dried, then there should be no problem.

If the child has sensitive ears or has had an infection, then kids waterproof ear plugs should be considered.

Cotton Buds/Q-Tips.

If the child’s ears are cleaned with Cotton Buds/Q-Tips, then there is more risk of infection, and earplugs should be considered. Putting anything in a child’s ear is a bad idea. The buds can scratch the delicate skin inside the child’s ears. If this has happened, getting water in there is far more likely to cause an infection.

Depth Of Water.

If you have an older child who can dive to the bottom of the pool, or river, the water pressure is increased. Increasing the weight of the water against the ear will push it in further, increasing any chance of infection.

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How To Dry A Childs Ears

If you are not using toddler swimming ear plugs, or water has still gotten into the ear then the ears should be adequately dried. The following are the main steps for achieving this.

  • Dry the outer ear with a soft cloth. Do not push it into the ear canal.
  • Tip the head to each side, pulling on the lower earlobe, to help the water drain
  • Using a hairdryer on the low setting from 12 inches from the ear
  • You can use drying drops, designed to be put into the ear to aid drying
  • If the child gets a lot of infections, you could get an Ear Dryer. An electronic device created specifically for drying the ears

Do not do the following when cleaning ears

  • Do not put ANYTHING into the ear canal
  • Do not use drops if there is a perforated eardrum, or the child has Ear Tubes (a tube inserted by a doctor with minor surgery)

Last update on 2023-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Cleaning Your Child’s Ears

You really should not need to clean your child’s inner ear, and if they need cleaning, then you should probably take the kid to a doctor. This occurs when the child has a problematic hearing, or there is a significant build-up of inner ear wax.

If there is any wax in the outer ear, wipe it away with a cloth. The wax in the ear canal is a good thing! It will destroy any bacteria/viruses and fungus that gets into the ear. As the wax moves through the canal, it takes any dirt that may have gotten in with it.

Pushing a cotton bud in can compact the wax and scratch the skin, making infection far more common.

Swimmers Ear In Kids

Swimmer’s ear is an infection of the outer ear, usually in the ear canal. Symptoms are typically pain, drainage, swelling, and hearing loss.

What Happens?

It causes debris to build up in the ear canal, and they will shed the ear canal skin. It causes hearing loss because you’re building up this blockage. So if you don’t clean that out and provide a clear passage for the medication to get into that infected ear, and make it healthy, it can last awhile.

I’ve had patients where it’s lasted for weeks, almost a month, because it hasn’t been treated or cleaned.

Why It Occurs

Swimmer’s ear occurs because there’s an injury in the ear canal, or people keep their ears too clean! In America, people love to use Q-Tips, and their ears have no wax whatsoever! Wax is there for a reason, because it provides protective coating. It prevents aging, flaking, and infection.

When you keep your ears to clean, you set yourself up for a dermatological condition called ear canal dermatitis. When you get water in that unprotected area, it creates an infection in the ear canal.


The first thing is to cleanse the ear. This can be with suction or with instruments, and then we have to place topical drops to get the ear canal healthy.

If it’s bad enough, sometimes we even have to use oral medications like antibiotics. It can last a long time because the key to that is number one you have to make sure you keep water out of the ears.

It’s a water-related problem! Many people don’t do that, they keep trying to flush the air out or they keep swimming or bathing; you need to keep it dry


When it come to kids swimming earplugs, there's a whole world to explore. But don't get overwhelmed! We've included reviews for each the best-selling choice on Amazon and highlighted the pros and cons of each. This way, you know which product is right for your child.

They help prevent swimmer’s ear, which can develop when bacteria gets trapped in your ears after swimming. Choosing the right swimming earplugs for your child is a fun and stress-free process when you checkout our reviews.

Please Note: Just because an ear defender is marked, for example, "Gunshot" - it will still cover other things, like "explosions"

PUTTY BUDDIES Floating Earplugs 10-Pair Pack - Soft Silicone Ear Plugs for Swimming & Bathing -...
  • SOFT SILICONE EARPLUGS. Easy to use and mold to the ear! MUCH MORE soft & comfortable than other ear plugs. WORLD’S ONLY FLOATING SOFT MOLDABLE SILICONE EARPLUGS. Float on water if dropped or dislodged.
  • RECOMMENDED BY DOCTORS WORLDWIDE. Invented by an Ear, Nose, Throat Physician. HELPS PREVENT SWIMMER’S EAR. Perfect for ear tubes, perforated eardrums, myringotomy, myringotomy tubes, otitis media, and otitis externa.
  • GUARANTEED EAR PROTECTION. Block water from the ear canal! Great for swimming, bathing, surfing, water skiing, canoeing, and kayaking. Perfect for traveling to the pool, lake or beach.
  • TACKY TEXTURE keeps earplugs in place. ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL design. Great for kids and adults! Reusable and last longer than other earplugs.
  • Bright colors are appealing to kids. Kids love them! THE BEST SWIMMING EARPLUGS & EAR PROTECTION. Use with the EAR BAND-IT or EAR BAND-IT ULTRA SWIMMING HEADBAND for best protection.
Hearprotek Swimming Ear Plugs, 2 Pairs Waterproof Reusable Silicone Ear Plugs for Swimmers Showering...
  • [Ergonomically shaped] Hearprotek ergonomic ear plugs are shaped to fit snugly inside the ear and lay flat against the outer ear, more so than flanged models. This ensures a watertight fit and it’s a pefect protection against swimmer’s ear or surf’s ear.
  • [Comfortable & Safe] Made from soft silicone that is extremely soft and comfortable to insert in the ears and wear all the day. With the help of these earplugs, you will not face any kind of itching, scratching or irritation in the ears.
  • [Bright Colors] The bright coloring of the earplugs will make you stand out and identifiable whether or not you have your earplugs in ears or not. Perfect for swimming, bathing, water skiing, canoeing and other water sports.
  • [Easy carrying] The earplugs come with a reusable handy storage case, which you could just shove in your bag along with a pair of goggles to not to miss your pool session. We included 5pcs waterproof name stickers in the package as well, you can easily personalize your earplugs case or googles.
  • [Fully Reusable & Washable] These silicone ear plugs are your best value, for they’re reusable over and over again rather than throwing them out each time for a new pair! Use it while you do your exercise and plug out, wash them and keep in the protective.
Mack’s Swimming Headband – Best Swimmer’s Headband – Doctor Recommended to Keep Water Out...
  • KEEP WATER OUT AND HOLDS EARPLUGS IN: This stylish neoprene swimming headband helps hold ear plugs and custom ear molds in place during water activities. As an added layer of protection over earplugs, these ear bands also help prevent kids from fussing with, or removing their ear protection.
  • USE WITH EARPLUGS TO HELP PREVENT SWIMMER’S EAR INFECTIONS: For full waterproof protection, wear Mack’s Ear Band over Mack’s Moldable Silicone Putty Earplugs (sold separately) to block water from entering the ear canal. Mack’s Moldable Silicone Putty Waterproof Ear Plugs are USA’s ORIGINAL and #1 SELLING moldable silicone ear plugs and are doctor recommended for helping prevent swimmer’s ear infections and for use with ear tubes.
  • DOCTOR RECOMMENDED: When used in conjunction with waterproof earplugs, ear bands are doctor recommended for those with ear tubes (myringotomy tubes), eardrum perforations, swimmer’s ear infections (otitis externa) and middle ear infections (otitis media).
  • MULTI-USE: Great for swimming, bathing, canoeing, surfing, kayaking, water skiing and other water activities. In addition to helping secure earplugs in place, Mack’s Swimmer’s Headband helps keep ears warm during cold water and winter activities and even help keep hair out of your face. Take them to the pool, beach or lake.
  • COMFORTABLE AND EASY TO USE: Mack’s swimming head band is made of comfortable, durable, stretchy neoprene with a strong, adjustable, hook and loop closure. The 2-color (purple/blue), reversible, adjustable neoprene headband fits most kids to medium-sized adult heads. Safe, comfortable and effective. Satisfaction guaranteed. From Mack’s, the Official Ear Care of USA Swimming.

Last update on 2023-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Other Questions

How do you clean swimming ear plugs?

Swimming ear plugs can be a source of irritation and infection if not properly cleaned.

Here are five easy steps to cleaning swimming ear plugs:

  1. Wet the plugs in cool water.
  2. Soak them in a solution of 1 part household bleach to 9 parts water for 10 minutes.
  3. Rinse them off with clean water.
  4. Allow the plugs to air dry.
  5. Store them in a dry place.

How often should you clean ear plugs?

Swimmers earplugs should be cleaned and inspected at least once a week, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

Dirty earplugs can cause water and other debris to accumulate inside the ears, which can lead to infection.

Additionally, dirty earplugs can decrease sound quality and make it difficult to hear while swimming.

Can earplugs cause permanent tinnitus?

There is no definitive answer, but some experts say that wearing earplugs may increase the odds of developing tinnitus.

In fact, some people who experience temporary tinnitus after wearing earplugs may eventually develop permanent tinnitus as a result.

The reason for this is unclear, but it could possibly be due to the pressure that the earplugs create in the ears or the way that they interrupt sound signals. If you are concerned about your risk of developing permanent tinnitus, talk to your doctor about whether or not earplugs are a safe option for you.


If you require more information, please check these references

Swimmer Ear , article, “www.mayoclinic.org”, retrieved on, Thu 05-September-2019 

Swimmer Ear , article, “kidshealth.org”, retrieved on, Thu 05-September-2019 

Swim Ear Plugs What You Need To Know , article, “Kids And www.healthyhearing.com”, retrieved on, Thu 05-September-2019 

Get Water Out Of Ear , article, “www.webmd.com”, retrieved on, Thu 05-September-2019 

Ears , article, “en.wikipedia.org”, retrieved on, Thu 05-September-2019


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Nick Le Page

Experience : Hi, I am Nick, and I have suffered with ear problems my whole life, mainly tinnitus. I have tried a lot of products to help protect my ears over this period, and several devices to block out the constant ringing

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