An ear infection is one such concern that arises in children, without any notice. It becomes even tough to understand if your kid is still in the infant stage. Also known as an otitis media, ear infection usually begins with minor, and if not taken care of initially, it could aggravate. Such infection usually occurs when the middle ear gets inflamed and infected, usually resulting from viral or bacterial infection. The reason why ear infections are highly prevalent in kids is due to the anatomy of their Eustachian tubes. These tubes are much shorter and more horizontal than those who are adults. This makes it easy for the bacterial infection to travel through the throat and nose to the mid area of the ear, causing ear infections. If you as a parent have even a minor doubt about the infection in your child, we highly recommend consulting the specialist and diagnosis at the early stage.
Common causes of ear infections in children
- Kids suffering from respiratory issues often deal with upper respiratory infections. This includes flu, common cold, or sinusitis. Any infection-causing virus or bacteria could be caused by the spread of such respiratory issues, traveling to the middle ear through the Eustachian tube, triggering an ear infection.
- Even kids who are dealing with allergies related to allergic rhinitis could experience inflamed or congested nasal passages while impacting the Eustachian tubes. This results in obstructing appropriate ventilation and drainage to aggravate the condition in children.
- Children who are active swimmers can experience ear infections frequently as dipping in the water creates moisture in the ear canal. This makes room for the bacteria while resulting in ear infections.
- Children who are exposed to smoke are highly prone to ear infections. This is because, the toxins from smoke tend to irritate and inflame the Eustachian tubes, to further develop into an infection.
- Children falling under the age group of 6 months to 2 years are highly susceptible to ear infections. This usually happens as their immune systems are still in the developing stage.
Ways to Manage ear infection in Children
Consult a doctor
If you have noticed unusual changes in your child’s behaviour, especially if they are being cranky and constantly pulling ears, it’s the sign! However, before drawing any conclusion, it is highly recommended to take your child to a specialist for a proper diagnosis. The further course of action is determined by the doctor only post diagnosing the severity.
Usually, the doctor prescribes antibiotics that need to be taken in the course of time. It is important to consume the medicine in proper dosage whilst completing the entire course, even though the child has gained relief. Other medicines suggested by doctors are effective to relieve pain, inflammation, fever, and discomfort such as ibuprofen and paracetamol.
Treating other issues
Ensure to consult the specialist to understand the real underlying infection. Treat your child accordingly for other medical issues such as allergies, or other respiratory concerns that could trigger ear infections. Those kids who are already dealing with nasal congestion can use saline nose drops for relief.
Keep irritants at bay
Your child must have fallen prey to smoke or irritants exposure that might have caused ear infections. Hence, you as a parent should consider protecting your child from such harmful exposures.
Be up-to-date with vaccines
It is highly advised to vaccinate your child properly from time to time to keep infections and germs at bay. Ensure your child is vaccinated with H influenza B (Hib) bacteria, Influenza virus, and pneumococcus bacteria on time.
Other tips to manage ear infections in childrenx
- While your child is already dealing with an ear infection, refrain your child from excess water exposure. Anyone with an ear infection shouldn’t indulge in water sports activities including swimming. Also, kids who are already infected should cover their ears with cotton while bathing.
- Avoid inserting objects in the ear such as cotton swabs or fingers. This could lead to potential damage to the delicate part of the ear.
- Avoid treating your child at home with over-the-counter ear drops or nuskaas, as it could have repercussions. Ensure to consult a paediatric expert before treating the child at home.
- Avoid delaying medical attention for your child as it could aggravate with time.