By the time your child has reached the age of 5, he or she may have already suffered through at least one ear infection. And according to The American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS), ear infections account for 25 million office visits annually with direct costs for treatment estimated at $3 billion.
Antibiotics are still the most recommended solution to ear infections for children under the age of 1, even though most ear infections are caused by viruses. A study from the Archives of Otolaryngology showed that 88% of children with ear infections never needed antibiotics, and antibiotics did not shorten the lifespan of the illness. Many doctors have started to use a wait and see option for children over the age of 1, basically waiting to see if the ear infection clears up on its own, letting the body’s own immune system do the work in clearing the infection.
Still, as most parents know, ear infections can be painful and we want to protect our children from them as much as possible. If your child has an ear infection, treat the symptoms with the following tips, to help provide relief.
1. Place a warm compress over the infected ear to relieve pain.
2. Gentle massage around the ear may also provide some relief. Continue reading “How to Handle Ear Infections at Home”
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Apparently, three out of 4 children will suffer from an ear infection according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Ear infections occur when viruses or bacteria get inside the ear, usually the result of a cold or other illness. Fluid and mucus can become trapped deep inside the ear. They are more common with bottle feeders and amongst boys.
My little guy (18 months on Monday) has had two ear infections and both times resulted in a visit to his doctor and both times we were given a prescription for antibiotics but with a word of caution. My doctor does not like to give out antibiotics for ear infections, because according to her most ear infections are caused by viruses, and even those that are bacteria related clear up on their own within a few days. This actually is similar to the guidelines put out by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Among other things, those guidelines recommend that pain medication be prescribed for most children and antibiotics used only if the conditions persist or don’t improve. Continue reading “Ear Infections and Children”