Read all the pertinent info you need to know about ear infections in kids, what causes them and how to deal with them.
Statistics show that around 50% of infants have at least 1 ear infection before they turn 1 year old. In fact, young children and babies are more likely to get ear infections than adults.
Why is that so? And what usually causes ear infections to occur among babies and young kids?
- Babies and young children have narrower and shorter Eustachian tubes compared to older children and adults.
- Some young children’s immune systems are compromised by constant exposure to colds and other illnesses at daycares, shopping centers, etc.
- Allergies can indirectly lead to ear infections too.
What is an ear infection?
An ear infection occurs when fluid builds up around the eardrum and causes the middle ear to become inflamed or swollen. The fluid is the result of bacteria in the ear.
What causes an ear infection?
Ear infections usually happen as a result of cold, sore throats and sinus infections. The bacteria from these ailments then travels to the inner ear, causing the inflammation and so on as mentioned above. Bacteria enters the ear through hand to ear contact, as well as through the mouth.
The adenoids, which are filled with immune system cells, usually work to trap bacteria that enters the body through your child’s mouth before it can get to the ear, but when this doesn’t happen, ear infections can develop.
Symptoms of an ear infections in kids
Ear infections are painful, often very painful. A child suffering from an ear infection isn’t likely to be able to hide their symptoms, or even want to.
A child with an ear infection is usually desperate for relief. So if you notice any of the following symptoms, you need to take action ASAP!
NOTE: These symptoms are not in any particular order.
- Pulling and tugging on their ear or ears
- Holding one side of their head
- Cupping their ear with their hand to try to ease the throbbing sensation
- Trouble sleeping
- Fussiness or all-out crying
- Imbalance and inability to walk without falling down
- Drainage coming from their ears
- Trouble hearing or responding
- Responding with ‘huh’ or ‘what’ to everything you say