How can you tell whether your child has an ear infection?
If your child is old enough to tell you what’s going on, then they may be able to let you know when their ear is bugging them or in pain; however, newborns and children that aren’t quite old enough to speak are often prone to ear infections. By recognizing the signs of an ear infection, you know when to turn to our Hobart, IN, pediatrician Dr. Marc Connery and the team at Brickyard Pediatrics for care.
Why are kids more at risk for ear infections?
Children’s eustachian tubes are shorter than adults, which makes it easier for bacteria to enter the middle ear through this tube. These tubes are also narrower, which also increases the risk for a blockage. This is why it’s common for most kids between the ages of 2-4 years old to develop at least one ear infection. Other things that can put your child at an increased risk for ear infections include being exposed to secondhand smoke or being bottle fed (as compared to being breastfed).
What are some signs of an ear infection?
An earache is the most common sign of an ear infection; more specifically, a middle ear infection. Along with pain, your child may be fussier than usual or tug or pull at the affected ear. If their hearing is affected by the infection, you may find that your child has trouble understanding or hearing you. Kids that are old enough to speak can often tell you that their ears “are in pain” or “feel stuffed up” but you’ll want to be on the lookout for these signs in younger children who can’t tell you what they are experiencing.
How long can an ear infection last?
It’s normal for symptoms to improve within 2-3 days, so if you find that your child’s symptoms aren’t improving or persist for several days or even weeks you should call our pediatrician.
Does my child require antibiotics?
If your child has an ear infection you may be wondering if you need to turn to our Hobart, IN, pediatrician for treatment; however, sometimes antibiotics are not necessary. Our pediatrician Dr. Connery will need to evaluate the type and severity of your child’s infection, as well as your child’s age and health and how often they develop infections, to determine the best course of action.
Sometimes our team may take a wait-and-see approach to see if the infection clears up on its own (which commonly happens). We can recommend certain over-the-counter medications to ease symptoms until the infection clears up on its own.
When are antibiotics needed?
Your child may need antibiotics if they experience frequent ear infections. Younger children or children with more severe infections may be prescribed antibiotics right away. Antibiotics are also needed if your child’s ear infection is bacterial.
Brickyard Pediatrics is the premier pediatric practice in Hobart, IN. If your child is dealing with an ear infection or simply needs a routine checkup, schedule an appointment with Dr. Connery by calling (219) 940-9605.