Addressing ear infections in kids
6/9/2016 9:41 AM
Most parents know or suspect when their child has an ear infection, but not always. If your child is pulling at their ears, has a fever, is being fussy or has a decreased ability to hear, an ear infection may be the cause.
A common misconception is that all ear infections need to be treated with antibiotics, but they don’t. In many cases, waiting and letting the body take care of the infection itself is the best route. There are many pitfalls to the over-use of antibiotics, and they have side-effects that can be unpleasant for anyone, especially children.
The acute symptoms of an ear infection can be treated at home with Tylenol and ibuprofen. Once the acute symptoms subside, it’s important to take your child in for a follow-up visit to make sure there is no fluid remaining in the middle ear. If fluid remains for three months or longer, it can effect speech development, behavior and hearing. If the fluid has not resolved after three months, the child should be referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist.
If you suspect that your child has an ear infection, It’s important to have them examined and diagnosed properly. If an ear infection is present, their pediatrician or family clinician will be able to determine the best course of action.
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About the Author
Jessica Sanders, NP, is a nurse practitioner at the Live Oak Health Partners Walk-In Care clinic.