Ear Infection:
Providing Timely Relief To Your Baby

Even for adults, an ear infection can be disruptive, painful and certainly no fun. If your baby has an ear infection, you will probably notice symptoms that include a constant tugging or attempt to tug at the offending ear or ears. Your baby could cry a lot and he may also develop a fever.

In such conditions, consider the following steps to guide you through the process of providing relief to your baby.

Seek medical attention.

It is quite easy for doctors to determine if your baby has this infection. Hence, if you are unsure about the symptoms you are observing, go to your family doctor. It is better to get medical assistance as early as symptoms surface because waiting can make the situation worse. Once you get medical attention for your baby, your little bundle of joy can be on his way to a speedy recovery.

Are antibiotics inevitable?

Depending on the age of your baby, an antibiotic may be prescribed by your baby’s doctor. However, it is important to note that certain bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics. If your baby has frequent ear problems, the baby’s doctor may decide not to prescribe antibiotics for every episode of such infections.

Can this be serious?

When these infections appear to be very frequent, the doctor may embark on specialized testing to ensure there are no underlying factors that could be contributing to their frequent episodes. An early infant hearing test is highly recommended at this stage. These tests are highly effective in detecting hearing loss and hearing impairment at an early stage of your child's life. Otitis Media is one of the major reasons a child can have frequent ear infections. There can be many more.

Fever may be a symptom.

 Fever may be the first indication that something is not quite right. Perhaps when the fever occurs, you may then also notice other symptoms such as your baby’s attempts to reach for or scratch the affected ear/ ears. Your baby’s doctor may recommend medication to take care of the fever. Moreover, an ear infection may be the result of a prolong cold or any allergic reaction.

Cranky Baby...

In addition to fever, the poor baby may be experiencing pain during this infection. Usually, when a diagnosis is made, the doctor will also prescribe medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help provide relief from pain. If antibiotics are prescribed, a fever might surface as your baby takes the medication.

Will ear-drops work as magic-drops?

It is possible to provide some comfort to your baby through the use of ear drops. Ear drops for your baby may soothe the ear and also stop the pain for a while. However, the pain could return if the infection still persists. If the infection is being treated with medication, you could also use the ear drops as an additional form of relief. The age of your baby can determine what is safe and effective, so always consult with a qualified medical professional before trying over-the-counter medications. You would not want to make the ailment worse or make your baby even more sick and uncomfortable.

What can I do as a parent?

Comfort, along with the best medical services, is the best treatment parents can give to their sick child. Holding your baby and being sensitive to his discomfort is another useful technique to use in providing him instant relief. This alone cannot help heal the infection, but as medication is given to your baby, it can be comforting to be held, rocked and swaddled. Keeping your baby as comfortable as possible can also contribute to the healing process.

As you care for your baby, you may also discover other strategies that can help provide even more relief as he or she is recovering. These strategies vary from one baby to another. Spend a lot of time with him and notice what calms him down - it might be warm milk, cold ice packs or your light finger strokes on his tiny head or ear region.

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