Ear infection

Cotton swabs send dozens of children to ERs each day, study says

But people continue to use a soft-tipped plastic or paper stick to dig out the wax from their ear canals -- and it's a problem.

Authors of a new study in the Journal of Pediatrics, conducted by researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital, warn that using cotton-tip applicators to clean the ear can be dangerous, especially in the hands of little ones.

Pacific children most at risk from ear infections

RNZ reports New Zealand has high rates of middle ear infections with around 83-thousand GP consultations and five-thousand hospital admissions annually for children under five years old.

Starship hospital specialist Colin Barber said Maori and Pasifika children were disproportionately affected with hospital admissions up to double the number of that for European children.

He said the high rates were thought to be caused by genetics but were now attributed to poverty and overcrowding.