Swimmer’s ear—or external otitis—is an infection of the outer ear and ear canal. As the name implies, swimmer’s ear often affects those who spend a lot of time in the water. Excessive moisture gets trapped in the ear canal, allowing bacteria to flourish. Symptoms include muffled hearing, an itchy external ear and severe pain in and around the ear (especially when the ear is touched). To prevent a future episode, have your child dry her ears thoroughly after swimming and bathing and have her use earplugs in the pool. You can also concoct a serum to fight bacterial growth by mixing one-part white vinegar with one-part alcohol. Before and after swimming, put a few drops into each ear and then let the fluid drain out.