What Does It Mean When Your Baby Scratches His Head Often?

What Does It Mean When Your Baby Scratches His Head Often?

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 your baby scratching their head.

What could it mean when you find your baby often scratching their delicate head? When does a baby scratching their little head be a cause for caution? Oftentimes, you might dismiss it as nothing serious and just a tiny habit your child might have. But you may be alarmed to find that constant scratching and tugging can be the starting signs of a much more serious condition than you thought.

A case of a serious reason was found by parents from China who noticed how their baby boy kept scratching and tugging his head.

Baby Scratching And Tugging At Its Head, Indication Of Something Serious

Recently in China, parents of an infant named An An, found that the baby would often be scratching his head and tug on the side of it.

Just like every parent, they thought it was perfectly normal for a baby to be scratching their own head, so they just brushed it off as a habit of his.

Two weeks later, they noticed that each time their baby is scratching his head, his face would frown and show a sign of discomfort and pain.

Worried that something might be wrong with their baby constantly scratching his head, 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. It is only a relief that his parents noticed the baby constantly tugging and scratching his head.

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 their baby scratching his head and brushed these gestures 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. This is why it’s important to bring attention to strange habits such as with baby An An who kept scratching and tugging his head.

If your child exhibits these symptoms, it is best to bring to get them medically diagnosed to rule out any serious problems. 

Source: China Press


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