Ear infections are incredibly painful for children and they can be hard to identify if you are not familiar with the symptoms of ear infections. While you may want to rush your child off to the doctor if the ear infection symptoms are not too severe it may be a good idea to try some home remedies first. If your child is prone to sore ears it is highly advisable to look into prevention of ear infections in children.
For minor ear aches you can give these home remedies a try:
- Place a moist, warm compress like a damp face cloth over your child’s ear for ten to fifteen minutes.
- If your baby is older than six months, you can give them acetaminophen or parasetamol like Panado, Calpol or Tylenol syrup to help relieve the symptoms of pain and fever. Use as recommended.
- Offer fluids or breastfeed your baby, as swallowing can help with opening the Eustachian tube which can help with draining the trapped fluid.
- If you are breastfeeding your baby you can even insert a few drops of breast milk into your baby’s ear. You will be surprised how many incredible uses breast milk has.
Helpful tips for preventing the risk of ear infections:
- Washing your hands and your toddler’s hands frequently help with spreading of germs.
- Regular breastfeeding can help creating natural immunity.
- Keeping an eye on allergens and triggers in your baby.
- Include vegetables and fruit in your older baby’s or toddler’s diet.
- Consider getting the flu vaccine for your toddler or baby.
- Considering the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine for providing protection against ear infections. Studies have revealed that children under the age of two years who have been vaccinated have a lesser risk of contracting ear infections compared to those who haven’t, especially children who attends daycare.
- Avoiding exposure to passive cigarette smoke as studies revealed that babies who has been exposed to the second hand smoke of smokers around them are more prone to ear infections as opposed to those around non-smokers.
- Try to avoid putting your baby down at night or for a nap with a bottle.
- Try limiting exposure to other sick children and adults.
Ongoing research is being conducted to try and find better ways of predicting which children are more susceptible in developing ear infection. In babies and children who are more prone to developing ear infections, researchers have found colonies of antibiotic-resistant bacteria which is known as biofilms which are found in middle ears of children with chronic ear infection. Having knowledge about how to target these biofilms can help with treatment of ear infection to avoid surgery.