Cotton Swabs Send Dozens of Kids to the ER Every DayIf you are using a cotton swab to clean out your ears, you're certainly not alone. But, contrary to popular belief, cleaning your ears is not only unnecessary, it is potentially damaging to your ear canal. It can be particularly dangerous for children. Inside your ears are tiny little hairs that help keep your ear canal clean of debris and wax. In fact, when left alone, wax in your ear will naturally migrate out where it can easily be wiped away. However, sticking a foreign object in your ear, like a cotton swab, poses a potential risk to your hearing. You could potentially damage the thin skin in the canal and/or the tiny bones in your middle ear (ossicles) that transmit sound. Recent research has discovered that nearly three dozen children are seen every day in emergency rooms (ER) across the U.S. after damaging their ear canals or ear drum with a foreign object, most frequently a cotton swab.