According to pediatricians, ear infections are second only to the common cold when it comes to childhood illnesses. In fact, the majority of kids will experience at least one such infection before their third birthday. If you suspect that your child has an ear infection, getting him or her to a pediatric urgent care clinic when symptoms start is important to beating the infection and helping to control the associated pain. Could your child be suffering from an ear infection? Here is what every parent needs to know.
What Are the Symptoms of an Ear Infection?
Pain is the most common symptom of an ear infection, particularly pain that gets worse when your child lies down. Older kids can easily communicate their ear pain to you, but in babies, watch for signs like increased irritability that could be caused by discomfort. A fever of over 102 degrees Fahrenheit is common with an ear infection, and gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea are also possible. You may also notice that your child’s hearing seems to be compromised. In some cases, pus may drain from the ear.
How Are Ear Infections Treated?
Treatment usually depends on the child’s age and the severity of the symptoms. Most pediatricians prescribe antibiotics for kids who are too young to express if their symptoms are severe or getting worse. For older kids without high fevers or severe symptoms, pediatricians may recommend watchful waiting for a few days before prescribing medications.
Can Ear Infections Be Prevented?
You can’t entirely prevent ear infections, but there are things you can do to lessen your child’s risk. Breastfeeding for the first six months has been shown to lower susceptibility to ear infections. Don’t expose your child to secondhand smoke or other allergens. Don’t let young children drink while lying down, as this could let liquid flow into the middle ear and cause an infection.
Pediatrics After Hours is here when your doctor’s office is closed to treat ear infections and a range of other pediatric conditions. Get answers to your questions about our Dallas pediatric urgent care clinic by calling (214) 363-7242.