Middle ear infection is one of the most common illnesses amongst kids. Close to 95% of all children have otitis media or middle ear infection, at least once by time they turn 7 years old. Though it is typical for children from ages 4 months to 4 years, kids from ages 6 months to 18 months are most susceptible. Children who are cared for in a group are also likely to get colds and ear infections as compared to those who spend more time at home. That is simply because they are exposed to more viruses that can lead to colds, which may only complicate an ear infection.
Ear infections usually start with a viral infection. This causes the middle ear lining to be swollen and fluid then builds up behind the eardrum. Kids are most prone because their eustachian tubes are narrower and shorter, as compared to those of adults. Babies who use the bottle while lying down are more prone to getting ear infections in contrast to those who are held upright during feedings. Ear infections commonly occur during the fall and winter months, and seasonal allergy symptoms may also increase the risk of occurrence. The chance of ear infection is also greater in young children who are exposed to tobacco smoke and high amounts of pollution.
It may be difficult to detect ear infections among kids particularly if they are still too young to talk . It is then best to watch out for common signs that kids with ear infections may manifest. Aside from ear discomfort and headache, young children with ear infections are unusually irritable and they cry more than usual. They also tend to tug at their ears and may fail to respond to sounds. It can also lead to fever which may be over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. A kid may also have a clear fluid that bleeds from the ears.
Although ear infections do not normally lead to emergencies, it can be quite unpleasant for your kid. In order to spare your little one from sleepless nights and too much discomfort, it isnecessary to stop its occurrence. Breastfeeding your baby for the first six months should provide your baby with needed antibodies to fight off infection. If you choose to bottle-feed your child, hold the baby in an upright position throughout feedings. Completing the recommended vaccinations for your child is also very important. Pneumococcal vaccine does not only prevent life-threatening infections like pneumonia and meningitis, it also decreases the chance of ear infections. If it is possible, limit the time that your kid spends in a group care setting. It is also possible to choose group care settings with less children to lessen exposure to viruses. It is also very best to shield the child from second hand smoke because it may only raise the risk of infection.
If you suspect that your baby may have an ear infection, seek advice from your medical doctor. Your child needs to be examined so that the medical doctor can effectively treat the infection and avoid the complications.