Swimmer’s ear is an infection of the outer ear, unlike the middle ear infections. If not for chlorine in pools and cotton swabs poked into wet ears, we’d hardly ever see cases of swimmer’s ear. Here’s how it develops: Chlorine in the pool water dries the ear, creating an itching sensation; the swab further irritates the skin of the ear canal, which subsequently becomes infected and painful. You can prevent this condition by keeping all things out of little ears before swimming except ear plugs, which can actually help prevent swimmer’s ear by keeping the ear canal dry. If Jimmy does come down with swimmer’s ear despite all your best efforts, your doctor will prescribe antibiotic ear drops, which should knock it out.