Infants are at a higher risk of suffering from infections than older children and adults. It is important to effectively manage ear infection in children so that the youngsters can enjoy better lives. There are several types of infections that affect the ear which is why one needs to learn how to identify each. The infections normally affect children more because they have smaller ear drums prone to bacterial infections. Inflammation and pain are consequently experienced. Severity of the symptoms varies from one case to another but successful treatment is possible. The material posted on this page on ear infections in children is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage serious medical emergencies and injuries enrol in a first aid and / or CPR course near you.
What Are the Symptoms for Ear Infection?
There are several symptoms that indicate a case of ear infection in children. The main signs to lookout for in children include:
- Incessant crying
- Minor or severe pain
What Are the Treatments for Ear Infections?
The most important step is to properly diagnose the condition. Seek medical assistance immediately if the child experiences shooting ear pain that persists for a few days. Do not wait until the situation worsen to act.
However, ear infection in children can be controlled through several techniques. One of the most effective is applying a heating pad onto the infected ear. Warm compress has been proven to relieve inflammation and pain when done several times in a day. Furthermore, the heat will also help in draining all liquids clogged inside the ear.
There are numerous over-the-counter medications that can treat the condition as well. Ibuprofen is an appropriate ingredient that will help to reduce the severity of the symptoms. Although aspirin is also effective in treating infection, never administer it to children less than 18 years of age. Studies reveal that aspirin (especially chronic) use in this age group leads to liver and brain damage.
Make sure that you carefully observe the patient. Be on the lookout for the signs of infection in children and regularly check temperature. If the condition of the patient deteriorates, this means that the home remedies have failed so the next stop should be to go the hospital. In addition, loss of hearing is an indication of ruptured eardrums that are actually more prone to multiple infections.
What Are the Prevention Methods for Ear Infections?
Prevention is always better than cure. On that note, it’s much better to take essential steps that will completely eliminate the likely occurrence of this condition. These include the following:
- Maintaining cleanliness. This means that all surfaces that the children normally touch while playing should be disinfected. These include toys. Encourage hand washing as well to eliminate the likely occurrence of infection.
- Do not use pacifiers. Most parents are unaware of the fact that these items store bacteria that spreads to the child thus causing infections.
- Mothers should opt to breastfeeding infants rather than using bottles. The spread of bacteria will be limited when breastfeeding. Ear infection in children is more likely to occur when bottles are used due to spillage.
- Make sure that the child is not exposed to cigarette smoke. Secondhand smoke is a big health hazard that can cause numerous other complications.