Posts for tag: Ear Infections
What causes ear infections?
There is one major culprit that causes ear infections: the common cold. When your child comes down with a cold the fluids can sometimes get stuck in the middle ear, which can irritate the eardrum. Since the immune systems of children under 3 years old are still developing, this often means that they don’t have the antibodies necessary to fight off this infection. This means that it’s inevitable that many young children will deal with an ear infection at some point.
What are the symptoms?
It isn’t always easy to tell whether your child isn’t feeling well or what’s going on, particularly if your child is too young to tell you. Of course, there are some warning signs to be on the lookout for. You may notice that your child is irritable and fussier than usual. They may be upset more easily or cling to you. They may also have trouble sleeping. You may also notice them tugging or pulling at the ear.
On top of these common signs, they may also have a loss of appetite, upset stomach, diarrhea, fever or vomiting. If you notice any of these signs then it’s a good idea to call your pediatrician to see whether you should bring your child into the office.
How are ear infections treated?
How an ear infection is handled will really depend on the severity and cause of the infection, as well as your child’s age. In some instances, children between 6 months and 2 years may be prescribed a round of antibiotics while in other situations your pediatrician may just monitor their condition before deciding whether or not to prescribe medication.
Often, children over the age of 2 may not be prescribed medication right away; your pediatrician may take a “wait and see” approach since some ear infections clear up on their own.
If you are ever concerned about the issues or symptoms your child is experiencing, don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician for advice on the next steps. This can often provide parents with the peace of mind they need to know they are doing everything for their little one.
A common childhood illness, ear infections are typically associated with pain, reduced appetite, difficulty sleeping and general fussiness. While ear infections aren't typically dangerous, dealing with a fussy baby is considerably less than fun. Reduce your baby's risk for ear infections with these five simple strategies.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, children who breastfeed for six months or more are less likely to suffer from ear infections. This is likely due to the antibodies they receive from their mothers.
2. Avoid Secondhand Smoke
Secondhand smoke compromises the immune system and increases the risk of an ear infection. If you smoke currently, stop as soon as possible. Even if you don't smoke around your children, the smell still clings to your clothes and your hair more than you realize. Don't allow others to smoke in your home or around your children either.
3. Avoid Prolonged Pacifier Use
While pacifiers are generally fine for young infants, they can increase the risk of ear infections in babies older than a year (not to mention increased dental and speech problems later on). After the first six months, pacifier use is more habit than need anyway, so you might as well get rid of it.
4. Wash Your Hands Frequently
Hand washing is the absolute best way of preventing many illnesses, and ear infections are no exception. Keep germs off of your hands and baby's, and don't allow anyone to put their hands or fingers in baby's mouth or ears.
5. Stay Up-to-Date on Immunizations
While immunizations do not directly prevent ear infections, research has shown that they can help prevent other illnesses, such as the flu, which are believed to increase the ear infection risk.
Save your baby the pain and yourself the sleepless nights! Follow these five strategies to reduce your baby's risk of ear infection today.