Ear Easy How to Treat Your Child's Ear Infection

Image courtesy of hin255 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ear infections are a common and uncomfortable plight for young children. While children under the age of two should be seen by a doctor, the National Institute of Health advises that ear infections in older children will often clear up on their own. Here is what you can do to help the process along.

Preventing Ear Infections

Because the structures inside their ears are so small, children are more prone to clogs inside of their ears that lead to infection, but there are steps you can take to protect your children.

You can discourage ear infections by:

  • Teaching good hand washing habits

  • Keeping toys, especially those shared with other children, clean

  • Treating any suspected allergies

  • Preventing second-hand smoke exposure

  • Not using pacifiers

  • Not allowing children to drink from bottles or sippy cups while on their back

Easing Pain

Rest, hydration and pain relief are the key aspects of home treatment for ear infections.

To ease pain:

  • Give age-appropriate doses of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, such as Motrin, or acetaminophen, such as Tylenol. Follow label dosage instructions carefully. Never give aspirin to children.

  • Use age-appropriate, over-the-counter ear drops when recommended by a doctor, following instructions carefully.

  • Use a warm cloth or heating pad against the ear. For safety, do not let your child sleep with a heating pad on.

Antibiotics

Many parents’ first reaction when their child comes down with an ear infection is to see a doctor for antibiotics. However, antibiotics will not always help. Because of the difficulty diagnosing the exact cause of the infection and concerns about antibiotic-resistance, your doctor might not prescribe antibiotics at all unless the infection is severe or your child is under the age of two.

When to See a Doctor

While it is usually best to place your trust in the human immune system, there are situations in which it is wise to contact a pediatrician in Spring, TX or one near you.

You should see a doctor if:

  • Your child is under the age of two

  • Your child’s fever is 102-degrees or higher

  • Symptoms are severe or begin to worsen

  • New symptoms, especially facial twitches or severe headache, appear

  • The pain stops suddenly, as this could indicate a ruptured eardrum

Most ear infections will clear up in just a few days. With rest and good care, your child will be back to his old self in no time.

Pin It on Pinterest