There are few items in a nursery as ubiquitous as the cotton swab. Invented by Leo Gerstenzang in 1923 after watching his wife twist cotton swabs around a toothpick to clean their lil one's ears, the Q-Tip is one of the top items on a mama-to-be's supply list. Whether hidden in a canister on the changing table or displayed front and center in one of the company's cute new baby packs, Q-Tips are always within a mom's arm's reach. Here are nine different uses for the baby care essential.
It is now official, you shouldn't clean your ears with a Q-tip. The American Academy of Otolaryngology, aka physicians who specialize in treating issues involving the ear, nose and throat (ENT), have issued clinical guidelines about cleaning your ears. To put it simply, don't stick anything in your ear that is smaller than your elbow.
Earwax, although not so attractive, is important to the health of your ears. The wax is a self-cleaning agent that also has protective properties. However, if the wax buildup causes hearing loss or pain, you should see a doctor to have it removed. Do not attempt to fish out that wax on your own. The ENTs also stress that Q-tips should never be put in the ear canal. Other home remedies this physicians' group strongly recommend avoiding involve using Waterpiks to irrigate your own ear canal and ear candles.
I must admit that even though I have been schooled by many a doctor friend about the hazards of Q-tips, I still occasionally use them. What about you . . .