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How to Give Your Child Ear Drops

Your child may need ear drops for an ear infection, swimmer's ear, or after surgery. Here are tips on getting drops into the ear.

Before giving the ear drops:

  • Check the medicine name on the bottle to be sure you're using the right medicine. Read the label so you know how many drops to give.
  • Have your child lie on a sofa or bed with their ear facing up. Your child also can sit in a chair.
  • Put your child's hair behind their ear.

Follow these steps to be sure the drops go all the way into the ear. If your child needs drops in both ears, repeat the steps for each ear:

  1. Use one hand to hold the middle of the outer rim of the ear. Gently pull up and back. This helps open the hole in the ear so drops go in properly.
  2. With your other hand, hold the medicine bottle so the dropper tip is slightly above the hole in the ear. To keep your hand steady as you give the drops, rest your wrist against your child's cheek.
  3. Squeeze the bottle gently.
  4. Count the drops as they go into the ear.
  5. After giving the drops, gently press the area at the front of the ear over the hole. Do this several times to move the drops into the ear.

Reviewed by: Heather C. Nardone, MD
Date Reviewed: Jul 1, 2022

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