Wet Willy is a tropical fish that wants to help patients with acute otits externa get back in the swim again.  Look for Wet Willy swimming into your town soon.

Wet Willy suggests 11 steps to possibly prevent immediate and long term ear infections:

1. Dry Ears.  Dry your ears after swimming to prevent moisture build-up.

2. Protection.  If you swim frequently you should use a barrier to protect your ears from water.  However, impermeable ear plugs act as a local irritant and have been shown to predispose the ear canal to infections.

3. Refrain from cetain activities.  If you already have acute otitis externa you should abstain from water sports for at least seven to ten days.

4. Avoid foreign objects.  Avoid putting objects in the ear (e.g. fingers, cotton swabs) that may scratch the ear canal and provide a site for infection.  Any time the external auditory canal is cleaned and cerumen is removed, the canal becomes more vulnerable to infection.

5. Breast Feeding.  Medical literature indicates breast feeding can lower your child's chances of getting ear infections.

6. Daycare Setting.  Continuous exposure to other children increases the risk that your child will catch more colds, and consequently more ear infections.

7. Control Allergies.  If you think allergies are contributing to your child's runny nose and consequently ear infections, ask your healthcare provider how to minimize your child's allergies.

8. Feed your baby upright.  Lying down while bottle-feeding can cause the milk to irritate the Eustachian tube which can contribute to ear infections.

9. Keep the nose clear.  When a runny nose and cold start, do your best to keep the nose clear by using steam, saline nose drops, and suctioning.  See your healthcare provider for further cold medications.

10. Cigarette smoke.  There is strong evidence that cigarette smoke can possibly irritate a baby's nasal passage, which leads to Eustachian tube dysfunction.

11. Eat more fruits and vegetables.  These can boost your child's immune system and help fight infections.