Swimming with “Tubes” in the Ears, and Other Ear-Related Swimming Questions

Does your child have tubes in his or her ears, and you’re wondering if you have to stay far away from the water this summer? Worried about ear infections, or swimmer’s ear? We’ve got answers for you! At Goldfish Swim School, we want to give you a GOLDEN experience every time. That’s why we treat all of our swimmers (and their parents!) with integrity, compassion and trust — and why we want to give you the scoop on some common questions about ear safety when swimming.

Can my child swim with “tubes” in his or her ears? Is it really safe?

In short, yes! If your child had a bunch of ear infections and finally got relief (hopefully) by getting “tubes” in his or her ears, you really don’t want anything to interfere with that. The procedure to get tubes involves draining fluid from the eardrum and keeping that incision open with tiny tubes. Clean water, like swimming in the pool at Goldfish Swim School, is fine even if your child has tubes in his or her ears.

However, swimming in lakes, diving, and fully submerging your child’s head in dirty, soapy bath water if he or she has tubes in the ears should be approached with caution. Talk to your child’s doctor if you have any concerns.

Will my child get an ear infection from swimming?

Ear infections are definitely no fun for kids (or their parents!), so it’s understandable you may be concerned. The good news is that it is generally accepted that getting water in the ear does NOT cause ear infections. Whew! Inner ear infections are primarily caused by bacteria or a virus that travel internally to the ear, often from a cold or allergy. So, your child can continue lessons and keep on learning what to do in the water.

Should my child wear earplugs while swimming in a pool?

Back in the day (before us parents looked up everything on the Internet), the general consensus was that wearing earplugs was the best way to prevent ear infections and keep those ear tubes safe. However, earplugs generally aren’t necessary — and in fact some studies show that wearing earplugs can potentially increase ear infections. But when it comes to swimming at the beach, there is more potential for issues because of the lake bacteria, so always check with your child’s doctor.

If you do decide earplugs are the answer for you, we’ve got some (and other cool stuff) for sale in our Treasure Island Pro Shop. That’s some WOW! customer service, don’t you think?

What is “swimmer’s ear,” and should I be worried?

Swimmer’s ear is not an inner ear infection. It’s an infection of the outer ear, generally brought on by several factors and triggered by high bacteria counts in the water (like in lakes). Your children should be fine during lessons at Goldfish Swim School — just be sure to dry their ears gently after swimming.

Start Swim Lessons at Goldfish Swim School

We have plenty of locations (with more on the way), so find a nearby Goldfish Swim School location and sign up today for swimming classes near you. Soon you’ll be able to celebrate the extraordinary results you’ll see from your little swimmer!

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