Mommy Monday: Study shows large number of children go to the ER due to cotton swabs

New study by Nationwide Children's Hospital shows an estimated 12,500 children annually were sent to the emergency room for cotton swab related injuries. Jennifer Munoz (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- Cotton swabs seem pretty harmless but a recent study conducted by the Nationwide Children's hospital researchers found an alarming number of children are heading to the Emergency Room with ear injuries related to the use of cotton swabs.

The study shows over a 21 year period on average 34 children were treated with ear injuries caused by cotton swabs every day.

For Shalisa Patterson Addams her one-year-old Courtney's safety is her priority.

"On a scale from one to ten, it's like a 20 because he is a reflection of me, so I have to make sure that he is safe at all times," said Patterson Addams.

Patterson-Addams said she herself was prone to ear infections that's why for her son she decided not to use cotton swabs at all.

"You never know how far you are going down, you just never know and even if you scrape it you know they can dig in your ear get dirt in it that can start infections," Patterson Addams said.

Dr. Tooba Mansaar with Navicent Health said ear wax is actually a good thing.

"Ear wax we all have, it's there for a purpose, it's water proof and it's a natural antibiotic." said Mansaar.

Using cotton to clean your child's ear can cause major injuries.

"It can rapture the ear drum and once that's rapture it's very painful and can take a few weeks to heal on its own and sometimes it requires surgery," Mansaar said.

Dr. Mansaar said it's important to keep cotton swabs away from children at all times and never put anything in their ear canals.

The best way to clean their ears is with a wash cloth on the outer parts.

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