For years I have kept a small bottle with a dropper filled with Everclear in the back of my medicine cupboard. On the occasion that my kids or the neighbors kids came down with an ear infection I have put a few drops in their ears. The alcohol is effective in killing the infection, but it burns.
This week my professor mentioned another alternative. She recommends the following recipe to her patients:
1 oz white vinegar
1 oz rubbing alcohol
Use a few drops in the effected ear, or 1 drop in each ear after swimming.
Both vinegar and rubbing alcohol are effective in killing the kind of bacteria that you would find on your skin or in your ears. And my guess is that the vinegar mixture would be less painful than straight high proof alcohol. In any case, there are simple, cheap and effective ways of treating swimmer's ear so kids can keep enjoying their pool time.