Earaches in babies: Signs and solutions
Fact is, 3 out of 4 little ones have had at least one ear infection by their third birthday. They can't always say, "My ear hurts", so it's good to know the possible signs. They might:
- Tug or pull at their ear
- Be extra fussy or cry more
- Have a fever
- Seem to have trouble hearing or responding to soft sounds
To help relieve babies' earaches:
- Try a warm (not hot) heating pad covered with a towel. A warm, moist cloth over the ear can also work.
- Ask your pharmacist about eardrops. They may help with the pain.
- Call your pediatrician if the earache lasts for more than 3 days. The good news is, many clear up before then.
To help prevent their next ear infection:
- Make sure they're upright while drinking. Try to hold them at a 45-degree angle when it's time for a bottle, and don't lie them down while they're drinking. It'll keep fluid from getting into their eustachian tubes, the little channels connecting the middle ear to the throat.
- Keep little ones away from secondhand smoke. The dust and fumes can increase their risk for fluid build-up in the ear, and infection.