If your child is complaining of ear pain, s/he may have an ear infection. Ear infections are relatively common in kids; around half of infants are diagnosed with an ear infection by the time they are one-year-old. If children aren’t old enough to speak yet, they tend to become cranky or tug at their ear when they have an ear infection. They are commonly preceded by a cold or teething.
Here are some other symptoms your child may exhibit:
The best way to treat an ear infection is up to your child’s doctor. If the situation is serious and the doctor is worried about lasting complications, then s/he will likely prescribe antibiotics right away. Otherwise, doctors are hesitant to give antibiotics because the infection usually clears up on its own. Antibiotics only provide minimal pain and fever relief, and take about 24-48 hours to take effect. Doctors are also concerned about the effects of repeated antibiotic use, as there are an increasing number of bacteria becoming resistant to the medication.
Your best bet after you notice the onset of some of the symptoms is to treat and monitor your child’s symptoms at home to make them more comfortable.
If your child’s symptoms get worse or persist for days, it is best to call your child’s doctor. Fort HealthCare’s Pediatrics and Integrated Family Care team is here to ensure your child gets better in no time!