What is an ear infection?
it is a common condition in children featured by pain in the ear, fever, and trouble hearing. It often occurs in children after they get a cold. There is fluid in the middle ear, behind the eardrum, that can become infected and press the eardrum, causing it to bulge and this causes symptoms. After the acute phase, some fluid can stay in the ear for weeks to months after the acute infection has subsided. This fluid can cause hearing loss that if it lasts a long time can sometimes lead to problems with language and speech, especially in children who are at risk for problems with language or learning.
- pulling on the ear
- being more fussy or less active than usual
- having less appetite than usual
in older children more common symptoms are ear pain or temporary hearing loss
Can I help my child?
You can give to your child some pain relieving medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
Otitis media can be treated with antibiotics, but often antibiotics are not needed because many ear infections are caused by viruses that are not killed by antibiotics, so many children get over ear infection without antibiotics.
For this reason antibiotics are usually prescribed for children younger than 2 yo, instead for children older than 2 yo doctors usually suggest watching the child’s symptoms for 1 or 2 days before starting antibiotics if the child is healthy in general and the pain and fever are not severe.
When should I call the doctor
- If after 1 or 2 days, you are watching your child’s symptoms, and they aren’t going better or after 2 days you are giving antibiotics and his or her symptoms have not improved or are worse.