Ear Infection

Let’s Take The Scary Out Of Ear Infections

Baby with ear infection

How Frequent Are Childhood Ear Infections?

Next to the common cold, ear infections are the most common illness in children, which means that 80% of children will be diagnosed with an ear infection before they celebrate their 3rd birthday.  40% of all children will suffer three or more ear infections by age 3, while a child’s prime time for ear infections is between 6-24 months.

How Can I Tell?

  • Your Baby Rubs or Grabs His Ear
  • Diarrhea Or Vomiting
  • Reduced Appetite
  • Yellow Or White Fluid Draining From His Ear
  • Unpleasant Smell
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Fever Greater Than 102 Degrees F

What Else Should I Look For?

If your baby becomes more upset when she’s lying down, an ear infection might be to blame.  Ear infections happen when fluid gets trapped in the middle ear and becomes infected.  Typically caused by swelling or congestion from a cold, ear infections often develop after your baby has recovered from a cold.  A child’s Eustachian tubes are shorter and floppier than an adult’s, making it harder to fight off viruses and bacteria.

Will My Child Need Antibiotics?

According to a recent study by Ellen M. Friedman, MD, author of My Ear Hurts! A Complete Guide to Understanding and Treating Your Child’s Ear Infections (Fireside), Dr. Friedman claims that 80% of ear infections with resolve on their own without the need for antibiotics.  Our recommendation is to let your doctor decide what course of therapy is best.

How Can I Make My Child Feel Better?

To lessen your child’s discomfort, your pediatrician may recommend acetaminophen or ibuprofen.  Refrain from using over-the-counter eardrops unless your doctor recommends them, for they can cause permanent damage if your child’s eardrum is perforated.

Always Trust Your Common Sense.  If Your Child Is Not Acting Like Herself, Call Your Doctor.