Kids and Ear Infections

Next to the common cold, ear infections are the most common illness suffered by babies and children. So if you have kids, chances are you will be faced with these infections on a few occasions.

Ear infections are most often caused by a cold virus. Congestion from the nasal passages causes blockages in the ear’s eustachian tube, and fluid builds up in the small middle ear space behind the eardrum. Bacteria can breed in this trapped fluid, leading to an ear infection. These infections are especially prevalent in children ages 6 months through 2 years who have not yet built up the necessary antibodies to fight them off.

By Katy Mena

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So how do you know if your child has an ear infection? Some signs of an ear infection include: 

• pain
• loss of appetite
• trouble sleeping
• fever
• ear drainage

• trouble hearing

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

If your child is complaining of any of these symptoms, call your pediatrician so they can examine your child’s eardrums in person. Many middle ear infections will go away on their own, but if it is a cause of major discomfort, your doctor will probably prescribe antibiotics.

To minimize occurrence of ear infections:

• breastfeed your baby
• avoid smoky air
• do not clean ears with cotton swabs or other objects
• immunize your child
• wash your child’s hands often
• wean your child from his or her pacifier
Source: American Osteopathic Association