What does it mean when your baby scratches his head often?

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If you find our baby scratching his head very often and over a prolonged period of time, here is what it could mean.

One of baby’s biggest milestones is when he learns to grab things with his tiny little hands and starts to develop sensory skillsHe will learn to hold and release almost anything that comes into contact like toys, their own hands and feet, and even hair.

It is one of the cutest things to observe when those sensory skills start to develop and when they begin to explore their world. But there could be something amiss if you notice your little one doing a repetitive action very often – such as scratching their heads.

Baby scratches and tugs at its head, indication of something serious

Recently in China, parents of a baby named An An, found that the child would often scratch his head and tug on the side of it.

Just like every parent, they thought it was perfectly normal for him to do that, so they just brushed it off as a habit of his.

Two weeks later, they noticed that each time he did it, his face would frown and show a sign of discomfort and pain.

Worried that something might be wrong, his mother brought him to the doctor and he was diagnosed with otitis media.

baby scratching head

An An was scratching his head so often that his parents finally brought him to the doctor. | Source: China Press

What is otitis media?

This is a condition where the middle of the ear is inflamed and it is often described as middle ear infection. Ear infections are pretty common among young children.

An An’s condition was particularly severe as his infection had spread considerably because it was not treated earlier.

baby scratching head

Drainage from the ear canal is one of the symptoms of an ear infection. | Source: China Press

His parents were extremely guilty as they felt responsible for An An’s suffering. They didn’t think twice about An An’s gestures and brushed it off as part of the child’s growing process.

Fortunately, the doctor assured the couple that he was confident with some care and treatment, An An was going to make a full recovery.

How do you know if your child has an ear infection?

Here are some signs and symptoms that your child may have an ear infection.

  1. Fever (temperature higher than 40ºC)
  2. Constant tugging on the ear
  3. Fussiness or irritability
  4. Decrease in activity
  5. Lack of appetite or overall difficulty eating
  6. Vomiting or diarrhea
  7. Clumsiness or problems with balance
  8. Trouble hearing or responding to quiet sounds
  9. Drainage from the ear canal
baby scratching head

Observe your child and recognise the symptoms early. | Source: Pixabay

Children have relatively weaker immune systems as compared to adults, and the younger they are, the more prone they are to viruses and infections.

An untreated infection can affect your child’s hearing and brain development. Studies show that even periodic or mild hearing loss can lead to speech delays.

In rare cases, leaving a severe ear infection untreated might even lead to a brain infection.

If your child seems to be having these symptoms, it is best to bring them to a doctor to get it checked to rule out any serious problems.

Source: China Press

Read also: When to seek help when your child is sick

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Written by

evaloy