Earwax is a natural substance in the ear that can help protect and clean it. When too much earwax builds up, which is common in children, it can block the ear canal and lead to ringing in the ear (tinnitus), itching, hearing loss, pain, discharge, odor and cough.
Removing earwax is best done by a physician who has specialized tools and training to examine the ear and to clean it out. Some common ways to remove earwax include flushing the ear with oils or warm water or removing it manually with a tool.
Physicians generally do not recommend at-home tools for removing wax as they can damage the ear if used incorrectly.
Children with pain, blood or drainage coming from the ear may have a condition beyond earwax buildup and should seek medical attention.