Jane Emanuel, M.D.
Boys Town Ear, Nose & Throat Institute
Swimmer's Ear is basically that outer ear canal infection. What happens is, it gets called swimmer's ear, because it happens more in the swimming pool season. Basically it's when you get a break in the skin and some bacteria starts to infect the skin of the ear canal and that generally, is going to need treatment because it can just as or more painful than the infection behind the eardrum.
Treatment is usually going to be ear drops, an antibiotic ear drop, sometimes an oral antibiotic.
Prevention of that type of infection, people think that maybe they should use ear plugs, that actually doesn't help because you're sticking something in your ear and that can traumatize it as well.
Sometimes an ear drop after you swim. Sometimes drying out the ear canal with something as basic as a hair dryer on a low setting and just dry out the ear.
There is actually an ear dryer you can get if your kids are really prone to that kind of trouble.