Ear infections can be extremely painful, and if your child is getting one after another it can not only be painful—it can be a pain. Your child may be missing days of school, may be taking a lot of prescribed antibiotics, and may ultimately suffer hearing loss. Read on for tips to help treat the infections and other tips.
Preventing Ear Infections
Help prevent ear infections by:
- Washing hands often. Make sure your child is washing their hands often especially after going to the bathroom and before eating. Germs are everywhere, and those small hands love to touch just about everything.
- Drinking plenty of water. Water can keep you hydrated and your body healthy. A healthy body can fight off infections much better than an unhealthy one. Water helps flush toxins from the body, which can help prevent infections.
- Eating a healthy diet. Just as with drinking water, eating a healthy diet will keep your body healthy as well. Give your child healthy options with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. If your child is a picky eater, try to sneak vegetables into their meals by trying tricks such as mashing carrots in their macaroni and cheese or giving them smoothies made with spinach or kale and fruits.
- Cleaning ears. Clean your child's ears to prevent a buildup of wax and dirt. Wash your child's ears when you bathe your child, and use an ear cleaning solution to help remove a buildup of wax.
Treating Ear Infections
If your child has an ear infection that is oozing, it may be severe and should be treated by your child's physician. If your child is experiencing constant ear infections, your child may need tubes placed in the ears to help open up the ear canal and prevent or lessen the amount of ear infections. Ask your child's pediatrician to refer you to an ear, nose, and throat physician for an exam. The tubes are placed in the ears surgically and usually worn for a year or longer. The tubes eventually fall out on their own, although sometimes they may need to be surgically removed (if they don't fall out on their own).
Help alleviate some of the pain associated with your child's ear infections by:
- Use a sock filled with sea salt or epsom salt and warmed on the stove. Give it to your child to place on their ear.
- Soak a cotton ball with white vinegar and water. Place it in your child's ear for 5 minutes.
- Have your child sleep on their other side to prevent pain from drainage. Propping your child up can also help with this pain.
- Use tea tree oil and water combined in a dropper. Use the dropper to apply some of the drops into the ear with their head tilted, leaving it in the ear for 5 minutes. Tilt their head the other direction to get rid of the infection.
Ear infections can be a pain, but multiple infections can be dangerous for your child's hearing. Talk to an ENT about your child's constant ear infections.