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Why Does My Child Get Frequent Ear Infections?

If your child is experiencing ear pain, rubbing or pulling on their ear, has a fever, is fussy or is having a hard time sleeping, they may have an ear infection. 

There are two common types of ear infections children get. The first is Swimmers’ Ear, which occurs in the outer ear canal and is caused by water staying in the outer ear canal for too long. Swimmers’ Ear can make the ear red, swollen and itchy in addition to the other symptoms of an ear infection. The other common type of ear infection is a middle ear infection, which is typically caused by bacteria and viruses. 

The Center for Disease Control suggests contacting your child’s pediatrician if the following happens during an ear infection:

  • Fever over 102.2 F
  • Pus, discharge or fluid comes out of ear
  • Symptoms last more than 2-3 days
  • Your child experiences hearing loss


Why Children?


Children between the ages of 6 months to 2 years old are more susceptible to ear infections and children often experience more frequent ear infections than adults because of their Eustachian tubes. The Eustachian tubes drain fluid from the ear and are smaller and more level in children, which makes it more difficult for them to drain. This means that bacteria can easily grow during a cold or any kind of fluid build up.


Help Prevent An Ear Infection


To help prevent frequent ear infections, the Mayo Clinic recommends teaching your child how to stay clean and healthy, to help them avoid catching colds and other illnesses. Also, help your child avoid secondhand smoke, have them drink bottles and other drinks sitting up instead of laying down, and discuss vaccinations with your child’s pediatrician. 


Ask Your Pediatrician


If your child experiences any of the above symptoms and you think they may have an ear infection or you have additional questions, consult your child’s pediatrician for guidance and treatment options. 

Being able to recognize the signs of an ear infection can help shorten the length of painful side effects, and also gives parents some peace of mind because they now know how to help their child through this infection.  

baby ear

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