Ear infections are common in children. Here’s how to spot it when it happens.
No one likes to see their little one sick, but it’s just a fact of life that at some point this will happen. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), about five out of six children will experience at least one ear infection by the time they turn three years old. So, how can you tell if your child is suffering from an ear infection? Our CENTA ENTs at Children’s Ear, Nose, Throat & Allergy in Maitland and Orlando, FL are here to tell you what to be on the lookout for.
While children who are old enough to talk will often be able to verbalize that their ear hurts, it can be more challenging for younger children who aren’t able to let you know that they are experiencing issues. This is when you have to keep your eyes peeled for these signs of an ear infection:
- Tugging or pulling at the ear
- Increased irritability or fussiness
- Pus or ear drainage/discharge
- Sleepiness or restlessness
- Difficulty hearing those around them
- Loss of appetite
- Diarrhea or vomiting
If your child seems to cry or fuss more than usual or clings to your side, this could be a sign that something isn’t right. If you child develops a fever along with these symptoms then it’s time to call our pediatric ENT doctors for an evaluation.
How your child’s ear infection is treated will depend on their age. If your baby has an ear infection and is under 6 months old then they will need antibiotics. After six months to two years old, we may just monitor their symptoms and see if the infection goes away on its own. Of course, if symptoms are severe, antibiotics will also be prescribed.
If your child is over 2 years old, we may also follow a “wait and see” approach. Mild ear infections can clear up on their own. If symptoms don’t go away after two or three days, or if symptoms get worse, then it may be time to prescribe antibiotics.
If you think your child might be dealing with an ear infection but you aren’t sure, then turn to your child’s ENT specialists at Children’s Ear, Nose, Throat & Allergy in in Maitland and Orlando, FL. Whether your child is dealing with strep throat, asthma or an ear infection, we can help.