Almost as frequent as the common cold, ear infections plague many children. Usually caused by bacteria, an ear infection is an inflammation and buildup of fluids behind the ear drum.

ear infectionsThe most common symptom of an ear infection is pain, especially when lying down. Irritability and fevers over 102 degrees can also be signs of a potential ear infection. If your child isn’t old enough to communicate their discomfort, look for signs like crying, pulling of their ears, trouble sleeping or fluid draining from the ear.

There are a variety of treatments for ear infections depending on age and the severity of symptoms. Antibiotics are the most common form of treatment. After a few doses of medicine, your child should begin to experience some relief.

While ear infections can’t be prevented entirely, there are several precautions you can take to lower the risk of infection.

  • Vaccinate your child yearly against the flu. Also, make certain that your child is up to date on all of the recommended immunizations.
  • Wash your hands often, this will prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.
  • Exposure to cigarette smoke can lead to more ear infections. Even the fumes of tobacco smoke can be harmful to your children.
  • Never put your child to sleep with a bottle. Drinking while laying down could allow liquid to flow into the middle ear, causing the infection.

We understand the discomfort ear infections can cause both you and your children. Our Chattanooga pediatric urgent care center treats ear infections and other ailments when your pediatrician’s office is closed.