Not sure what to do if your child has an ear infection? Most likely, neither are a lot of other parents. Dealing with your child’s first illnesses can be stressful and confusing, and you’re probably worried about doing something wrong and making it worse.
Luckily, you can learn how to cope with your baby’s first ear infection in a way that helps both your baby and you relax and enjoy life. Here are some tips on what to do:
1. Watch for signs of an ear infection
This sounds simple, but since a baby can’t tell you what’s wrong, figuring out what they are experiencing can be challenging. How can you tell if it’s an ear infection?
Most occur because of colds, so if you’re seeing signs that mucous has become yellow or green (rather than clear), Parenting.com says you might have an ear infection on your hands. Same with a cold-and-eye-drainage combo. Furthermore, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) lists the following symptoms as signs of an ear infection:
- Tugging or pulling at the ear(s)
- Fussiness and crying
- Trouble sleeping
- Fever (especially in infants and younger children)
- Fluid draining from the ear
- Clumsiness or problems with balance
- Trouble hearing or responding to quiet sounds
2. Get appropriate treatment
You need to know if your child has an ear infection or something more serious. Ear infections can also require antibiotics, so even if you know what it is, you may still need a doctor to prescribe medication.
3. You can help prevent future ear infections
According to the NIDCD, the following steps can reduce your baby’s risk of developing ear infections in the future:
- Vaccinate your child against the flu, as well as with the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13).
- Wash hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs.
- Do not expose your baby to cigarette smoke (studies show that babies around smokers get more ear infections).
- Never put your baby down to sleep (even for a nap) with a bottle.
- Whenever possible, keep your child away from sick children. Similarly, if your child is sick, limit their exposure to other children.
We can help your baby feel better
Ear infections are often connected to conditions such as colds that affect other areas of the body as well, including the throat and nasal passages. If your baby is experiencing issues with their sinuses or problems with an allergy, we can give your baby the care they need.
Houston Sinus & Allergy specializes in treating nasal and sinus conditions and providing allergy care. Our practice is committed to helping you find long term relief from your symptoms. Dr. Nguyen is a Board Certified ENT – Head and Neck Surgeon with extensive training & experience in diseases of the ears, nose & throat.
Click here to book an assessment, or call us at the number posted at the top of the page.