Ear infections are quite common in young children. If your young child seems to develop infections frequently, you will naturally want to do everything you can to resolve the issue. The following article takes a look at the most effective ways to deal with this problem.
Watch and Wait
Although it's understandable that a parent might prefer to take immediate action when their youngster comes down with an ear infection, your pediatrician might simply advise you to watch and wait. The reason for this is that many ear infections in young children tend to get better on their own. So, watching your child closely for two or three days could be the best treatment plan. Of course, you will want to relieve your child's pain during the waiting period by giving them appropriate doses of pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. You can also use over-the-counter ear drops, but consult with a pediatrician, like Kitsap Children's Clinic LLP, before doing so. Placing a cloth soaked in warm water could help with your child's pain as well. Make sure that your child gets plenty of rest during this time.
Use Antibiotics as a Second Step
If your child's symptoms do not improves after a few days, then your pediatrician might recommend a course of antibiotics. Generally, the antibiotics are going to have a noticeable impact in about two days. Antibiotics can sometimes have side effects such as vomiting and diarrhea, so watch your child carefully for any signs of an adverse reaction.
Consider Ear Tubes
If your child keeps coming down with ear infection on a consistent basis or the infections are causing hearing difficulties, the pediatrician might suggest that ear tubes be implanted in your youngster's ears. The tubes help to prevent infections by reducing the chances that fluid will build up in the ear. Ear tubes are typically implanted on an outpatient basis and tend to fall out on their own. If they do not fall out, then your child will need another procedure to have them removed.
Change Your Child's Habits
You can prevent future ear infections in your child by making an effort with hygienic precautions. Teach your child to wash his or her hands often and to not drink from the same cup or container as someone else, since these measures greatly decrease the likelihood of getting colds and their related ear infections. Lastly, do not place your child in an environment that contains second-hand smoke.