Should you need urgent health advice please contact your GP or call NHS 111. In an emergency please visit A&E or call 999.
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Earache Overhanging boy

It can feel horrible when your ear hurts, but it’s not usually caused by anything serious.

In fact, lots of children get earache from time to time.

Most earaches are caused by an infection in your ear, which will often get better after rest. You might also feel hot and maybe even feel like you have a cold. This is your body’s reaction to the infection as it tries to get rid of it.

Brain Borg
Did You Know?
Brain borg Your body can sometimes heat itself up to fight off nasty germs

What should I do?

If your ear is hurting a lot, your grownup can speak to a pharmacist about medicine. You may even have to stay off school if the pain is too much for you to carry on with things you enjoy, like playing with your friends.

Let an grownup know if you also feel any toothache, changes in your hearing or a sore throat, as you might need to speak to a doctor or a dentist.

You shouldn’t do these things as they can make an earache feel worse:

  • Put anything inside your ear, like a cotton bud or a finger
  • Try to pull any earwax out of your ears
  • Let any water get inside your ear
Riddle me this!
What should you do if you have an earache?
Quiz girl
Quiz girl
Quiz girl
Nurse holding image
Earaches will usually improve after a few days
Nurse holding image

Page last reviewed: 08-02-2023

Next review due: 08-02-2026