What You Need To Know About Your Child And Ear Infections

Posted on: 3 February 2017

Ear infections are one of the main reasons that parents take their infant child to the doctor. It is very normal for a baby to get an ear infection, and as any parent knows, having a child in pain is not only hard for the child, but miserable for the parents as well. Here are some things you need to know about ear infections and your baby.

What Causes An Ear Infection?

Ear infections are caused from a buildup of fluid in the inner ear. The fluid can be a result from a cold, water in the ear from the bathtub or swimming, or just excess fluid from the body. Thus, you may notice the ear infection come on after the child has a runny nose, but that is not always the case. Some children get ear infections even when they haven't been swimming or recently had a cold.

Because the inner-ear tube in a baby is so shallow, they are more likely to get fluid stuck in them. In addition, some children have shorter and flatter tubes. These tubes don't drain as well, so these children get far more ear infections that other children.

How Do I Know It Is An Ear Infection?

The only way to know for sure if the child has an ear infection is to take them to the doctor and have the doctor look at the ear drum with a tiny microscope. The doctor will be able to see if the drum is inflamed and red, meaning that the fluid has become infected.

Although you cannot know for sure at home, there are some things that you can look for to determine if you should take your child to the doctor. One of the common signs is a fever. The child will most likely run some sort of fever, and they may cry out in pain, or pull at their ear. You might also notice that the child is not drinking from a bottle or nursing well. This is because it may hurt to swallow. And lastly, the child may have trouble sleeping. Lying flat is painful on the ear, so although they may be fine during the day while they are upright, while they are flat on their back they may cry excessively.

How Do I Treat An Ear Infection?

The doctor will prescribe an antibiotic if there is an infection. You can also lightly massage the back of the ear to help move fluid.

By understanding these things, you can take care of your child when they have an ear infection. Contact a doctor at a medical center like Northeast Wyoming Pediatric Associates Pc to learn more.