Cotton-tipped swabs are not meant to be placed in ears. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the best thing to do with earwax is leave it alone. Trying to remove earwax can cause problems.
Putting cotton-tipped swabs into the ear canal pushes wax further into the ear. It can cause damages, dizziness, and balance problems. A child whose earwax is blocking the ear may have ringing or fullness, ear pain, itching, discharge, odor, and cough. Swabs also may tear or rupture the eardrum causing pain, bleeding, and permanent hearing loss.
For more information on earwax, please visit the HealthChildren.org.