Both of my children suffered from time to time with swimmer's ear. It is totally preventable. So I felt like a bad Mom when I didn't put alcohol in their ears. To my defense they were tweens and hard to slow down for drops. I found this article and thought I would share it with you.
Understanding Swimmer's Ear -- the Basics
Known to medical professionals as otitis externa, swimmer's ear is an inflammation of the ear canal. Its common name comes from the fact that it often occurs in children and young adults who swim frequently. However, any cause of dampness in the canal can lead to irritation and chafing, very similar to diaper rash in babies. An inflammation of the skin can sometimes lead to an infection that can be very painful.
Despite its name, you don't have to be a swimmer to get swimmer's ear. It's often caused by excess moisture in the ear from routine showering. The moisture can cause the skin inside the ear canal to become chafed, dry, and cracked. A break in the skin, which may result from trying to scratch the persistent itch of the dry and flaky skin, can allow bacteria or (more rarely) a fungus to invade the tissue of the ear canal and cause an infection.
If your ear is itchy, try nonprescription swimmer's ear drops, such as Star-Otic or Swim-Ear. Use them before and after swimming or getting your ears wet.
Of course only a doctor can give you an exact diagnosis of swimmers ear. So medical care should be taken whether in person or via the phone.
Credit: I have taken a portion of this article Understanding swimmer's ear the basics from http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/ear-canal-problems-swimmers-ear-home-treatment.