Signs Your Child May Have an Ear Infection

Feb 12 • 2015
Child's ear ache

Did you know that ear infections are the most common reason that parents bring their children to the doctor? An ear infection occurs when fluids build up behind the ear drum. This creates bacteria that cause inflammation of the middle ear. Because children’s ears are smaller, the risk of getting an ear infection is much higher. Unfortunately many children are too young to talk when experiencing pain in their ear, so knowing the symptoms to look out for can help you recognize an ear infection as soon as possible.

If your child is not old enough to tell you he is in pain, look for these warning signs:

  • Pulling or tugging on the ear
  • Unexplained fussiness and crying
  • Fever (more common in infants and young children)
  • Clumsiness or issues with balance
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fluid draining from the ear
  • Trouble hearing quiet noises

The best way to prevent your child from getting an ear infection is to address the risk factors head on. Try these steps to lower your child’s risk:

  • Make sure your child gets the flu vaccine each year.
  • Wash your hands and your child’s hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Keep your child away from cigarette smoke.
  • Don’t put your baby down for a nap or to sleep through the night with a bottle.
  • Keep your child away from other sick children as much as possible.

If you notice that your child is getting frequent ear infections, speak with your doctor to determine if ventilation tubes would be the right choice