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Q: What do I need to know about ear infections?

Posted December 04, 2013 in Advice Column, Perry

A: Ear infection is a common problem that impacts most children at some point before their second birthday. Common signs of ear infection in young children include a child holding, tugging or rubbing the affected ear, while older children may complain of pain or trouble hearing. Children of all ages may experience a fever along with ear infection.

If your child has symptoms of ear infection, you should visit your health care provider as soon as possible. He or she will look directly at the child’s ear drum to determine if there is an infection. Many ear infections are viral and do not require an antibiotic. The age of the child and the severity of the infection are factors, however, in determining whether antibiotic or pain control medications are appropriate treatment options. In some cases, when a child has multiple ear infections in a short period of time, the placement of ear tubes may be recommended to help decrease further infections.

There are many things parents can do to reduce the risk of their child getting an ear infection. Limiting pacifier use and exposure to tobacco smoke be helpful, along with keeping infants upright during feedings, washing your child’s hands regularly and keeping your child away from people with colds.

For more information, contact your health care provider at Mercy Family Care – Perry by calling (515) 465-3553.

Information provided by Mercy Family Care of Perry, 616 10th St., 515-465-2575.

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