According to the National Institutes of Health, five out of six children will experience an ear infection before they turn three years old. The reason for this is multifactorial, though relates to the fact that the anatomy of their eustachian tubes (canals that drain the ear) are more horizontal; as well as the fact that children are more likely to catch an upper respiratory infection or “cold.” Any non-verbal young child with congestion that is associated with a fever should be evaluated for a possible ear infection.
As a provider of health care in Silverdale, Washington, we know that ear infections can be very bothersome. Children that are too young to speak may cry or whine and may not always have a fever. So it can be difficult to assess when a child has an ear infection unless they have an otoscopic exam by a medical provider.
As parents, your role in catching an ear infection early is important because untreated ear infection can lead to damage and permanent hearing loss. To help you identify an ear infection in your child, there are some tell-tale signs you should watch out for:
- Pulling Their Ears
Toddlers and babies are still unable to tell you that their ear hurts. Yet, they feel the pain and this bothers them very much, they may pull at their ears for this reason. However, kids pull at their ears for many other reasons like itching, teething, or just being playful. If you notice your little one doing this, you can arrange for our mobile clinic to come to you so that we may conduct a check-up and see if the ear pulling is from an ear infection, or from a more benign cause.
- Persistent Crying
Aside from pulling their ears, persistent crying can also be a sign of ear infection. The pain can be too much for them to bear. Babies cry for many reasons, though usually they are consolable. If you cannot soothe their discomfort, seek then they are likely in pain. If you cannot identify the source of their pain, then a medical professional should evaluate for a possible ear infection.
Children can also have a fever when they have ear infections. Some ear infections come with fever, and some don’t. But if your child’s temperature continues to rise, seek urgent care in Kitsap County, Washington. We can evaluate your child’s health and determine what caused the fever and recommend the appropriate treatment.
- Ear Drainage
This is an obvious sign that should prompt you to get medical attention for your child. When you see any sort of fluid is flowing out of their ears, then something is definitely wrong. They will need treatment to prevent worsening of infection.
If you suspect your child has an ear infection and have difficulty getting to any physical clinic by yourself, our team at Housecall MD can travel to where you are.