Dr. Mom explores Tips for Managing Ear Infections in Children

I remember the first time Madi had an ear infection, she was 9 months old and I was so worried. She had a fever and was clearly in pain. I took her to her pediatrician who confirmed what Graeme and I suspected that she had an ear infection.  As a physician I have diagnosed hundreds of ear infections in children and didn’t realize how distressing it can be to parents until I became a mom.

What are ear infections?

  • Ear infections are viral or bacterial infections that occur behind the eardrum.
  • They usually occur after a cold.
  • The fluid that normally drains from the middle ear into back of the nose is unable to because of swelling or blockage caused by the viral infection.
  • This fluid build up can allow bacteria or viruses to multiply, causing an infection.

How do I know if my child has an ear infection?

  • Ear infections in children usually cause pain.  Your child may tug or rub at their ear if it is causing them pain or may have increased crying and fussiness..
  • Fever
  • Ear infections in children can be diagnosed in your family doctors office where a doctor or nurse can look in the ear to diagnose an ear infection. They are looking for redness and bulging of the eardrum.

How are ear infections treated?

Reference:

https://www.cps.ca/en/documents/position/acute-otitis-media

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