Ear infections are a common complaint that many of our patients here at Sunlife Pediatric Networks come in for. Ear infections in general are an extremely common ailment- but does an ear infection mean you always need to take your child to the doctor? Much like their first fever, if your child is dealing with their first ear infection, as a parent, you’re probably pretty worried. You may not know how to handle it- should you take them to the pediatrician, or are you freaking out too much and it’s something you can handle on your own at home? At Sunlife Pediatric Networks, we understand that when your kid doesn’t feel well, it feels like the world stops spinning. But don’t panic- read on to learn more about ear infections in children and how you should handle them.
How Are Ear Infections Caused?
First of all, let’s discuss how ear infections are caused. The number one culprit that causes ear infections is the common cold. When your child gets a cold, there can sometimes be an accumulation of fluids in the middle ear, which can end up irritating the eardrum. Due to the fact that children under three years old have weaker immune systems than adults since they’re still developing, it often means that they don’t have the necessary antibodies to stave off an infection the same way you may be. Thus, it’s as inevitable as getting a cold that most young children will have to deal with an ear infection at some point.
Symptoms Of An Ear Infection
It can be extremely difficult to tell whether your child is feeling well, especially if they are too young to directly express to you what’s going on. That’s why you should be on the lookout for certain warning signs. Some signs that your child is feeling unwell include:
- If they are fussier and more irritable than normal
- They may be more upset or cling to you
- Trouble sleeping more than usual
- Repetitive tugging or pulling at the ear
- Loss of appetite
- Upset stomach
If you notice any of the above signs, you should probably call your pediatrician and check with them to see if you should bring your child into the office.
Treating An Ear Infection
How an ear infection is treated mostly depends on how severe the infection is and how it was caused, as well as how old the child is. In certain instances, your pediatrician may prescribe children between the age of 6 months and two years old a round of antibiotics, while in other situations your pediatrician may simply monitor their condition before choosing whether or not to prescribe any medications for treatment. Children over two years old may not be prescribed medication right away; your pediatrician may decide to take the “wait and see” approach, since certain ear infections may clear up without assistance.
Contact Us Today
If you’re concerned about any symptoms or issues your child is experiencing, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Call Sunlife Pediatric Networks to schedule an appointment today!