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Keeping Your Children's Ears Infection Free... By Jess Walter

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Keeping Your Children’s Ears Infection Free

By the time they reach the age of 3, 5 out of every 6 children get an ear infection. Children's ear canals and eustachian tubes are still developing and their immune systems are not as strong as adult. Whilst our kids are still growing and developing, there are some things we can do to try and help them avoid illness and infection.

What is an Ear Infection?

Ear infections form in the middle ear and the majority of the time are caused by bacteria. Fluid then builds up behind the ear canal, giving your child earache and pain. We all want to keep our kids safe and well, but sometimes it is difficult to tell if a young child has an infection, as they cannot describe the symptoms. Look out for them crying more than usual, or being very irritable. Look out too for them pulling their ear and not being able to hear you very well. Trouble sleeping and a fever in very young children is also a common symptom.

Ear, nose and throat are linked

Ear infections are very common whilst or after your child is battling a sore throat. The bacteria from a sore throat can spread to the middle ear. If your child has a virus, such as a cold, this can also cause an ear infection as a secondary infection. Colds and sore throats can sometimes be unavoidable in small children; however, we can try and help by taking preventative measures. Always make sure you and your family wash your hands regularly, especially before eating. Keep your kitchen and work surfaces clean. Give your child a healthy, balanced diet and consider using a vitamin supplement.

Keeping your child’s ear dry

If your child gets regular ear infections, it is advisable to keep their ears dry in the bath and swimming pool. You can use a cotton wool pad with petroleum jelly on it. The petroleum jelly acts as a barrier against the water. Alternatively you can use earplugs or ear putty and a headband. Water is a breeding ground for bacteria and if your child is prone to infections, it is a good idea to protect their ears.

If you think your child has an ear infection, make sure you consult your doctor. Little ears are precious and it is important for your kids development that they are looked after.


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