You'll find hundreds of files on cleft lip, cleft palate here on

This one is about: Warning to Swimmers with Ear Tubes

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During the recent WIDE SMILES symposium for Cleft care, an important point was made by Dr. John Canady of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Cleft Palate/Craniofacial Team regarding ear tubes and swimmers.

After answering the initial question, Dr. Canady added a noteworthy point:

Persons wearing ear tubes should NEVER dive.

According to Dr. Canady, water pressures change rapidly nearer the surface of water. Diving - even surface diving - can create a dramatic change in that pressure and actually disrupt the workings of the inner ear to the point of total disorientation.  A person who dives with ear tubes in place can actually get to the bottom of the pool and not be able to distinguish with direction is up, and subsequently drown.

My own sons learned to swim this past summer. And, once learning to keep themselves afloat, they progressed to the next most obvious step - learning to dive from the side of the pool and learning to surface dive and swim on the bottom. Thank goodness neither of my boys are currently wearing ear tubes, as I had not had previous warning that this very real danger exists.

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