Children’s Ear Infections

Hannah is my three year old and last night she was up all night, every two or three hours she was going to the bathroom but not actually going, and she was also waking me up just crying not saying anything. It was driving me nuts and by the morning I was so tired and she was still fussy saying her ear hurt. She was pulling on her earring so I thought that it was just the earring that was bugging her so I took her to daycare. A few hours later I got a call that her temperature was up over 102F and so I took her to the doctor. It turns out she has a slight ear infection and so now she is on medication for the fever and the infection. I looked up children’s ear infections and this is what I found……

 

Ear infections are very common in children, especially those younger than two years of age, and are a common reason for visits to the Pediatrician.

There are two main types of ear infections in children, outer ear infections and middle ear infections. Risk factors for getting a lot of middle ear infections include being exposed to a lot of other children (like in a large day care), having a parent or other family member that smokes, having another family member that had a lot of ear infections and laying down while drinking a bottle. Ear infections are less common in children that breastfeed.

Outer ear infections (also called otitis externa or swimmers ear) usually occur when your child gets water in his ear, which may lead to inflammation and infection. Your child will have symptoms of an earache, that is worse when you move his outer earlobe. He may also have discharge from the ear and he should not have a fever. These infections are usually treated with antibiotic ear drops.

A middle ear infection (acute otitis media) typically occurs a week or two after your child has an upper respiratory tract infection, which can cause inflammation and fluid to build up behind his ear drum. This fluid can then become infected with bacteria and your child will likely develop ear pain, fever and irritability and he may be tugging at his ears. Your doctor can tell if your child has a middle ear infection by looking inside his ear at the ear drum. With an ear infection, the ear drum will look red and will usually be bulging because of pus building up behind it. The ear drum will also be immobile, meaning that your Pediatrician will not see the ear drum move when he squeezes the rubber insufflator bulb on the otoscope.


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