Ear infectionWith toddlers being the fearless wonders they are, they’ll plough through everything: the home, the garden, the playground – even the garbage if you’re not watching! Needless to say, the germs of the day are rife and ready to secure themselves a -home in any little cut or crevice. And ears are not excused from being potential entry points.

 

Ear infections, a common phenomena for toddlers

Ear infections at the toddler stage are a widespread occurrence, rating the second most common infection in our little ones. The general cold scores first place.

Pharmacy shelves are crammed with medicines for ear infections. Moms and dads around the globe have, for centuries, compiled concoctions with plants, herbs and general food products such as garlic and cinnamon.

 

Playing host to unwanted guests

Loosely speaking, an infection starts in the human body when a parasite of sorts makes its home on or in the human body, feeding off it for its benefit while causing harm to the host.

Regardless of their age, patients should receive medical attention for something of a more serious nature like this type of infection. Because the human body cannot necessarily fight something on this scale it is vital to get your toddler to the doctor who will probably prescribe an antibiotic. This medication is like back-up troops for his small frame and can help him win the battle.

 

Common and painful : acute otitis media

Probably the most common type of ear infection affecting toddlers is acute otitis media which is an infection of the middle ear. This is very painful for your youngster.

Fluid from the middle ear is connected to the back of the nose by the eustachian tube. Otitis media occurs when this fluid becomes infected. Because of the blockage in this tube the fluid remains in the middle ear longer than normal and this, in turns, flares up the infection. Swollen tubes from a head cold, narrow eustachian tubes and a natural horizontally positioned tube (this becomes more vertical as he grows) all add to the frequency of common ear infections in our toddlers.

Although there are other factors which can cause this acute otitis media, one of the main causes of acute otitis media is passive smoking. Cigarette smoke is dangerous and hazardous for children to inhale, with your toddler no exception to falling prey to a nasty and sore eustachian tube infection.

 

Watch for the signs

By this stage you will know your toddler’s personality better than anyone else so it will be easy for you to see when he is in pain. But it is often difficult to locate the source of his pain when words elude him.

Here are a few tips you may find helpful when trying to identify your toddler’s pain:

  • As a natural instinct he may touch his ear to try to soothe the pain
  • The very same parasite that caused the ear infection may well infect him intestinally so look out for vomiting and/or diarrhoea
  • A smelly discharge from the ear or a crusting in the ear mouth
  • His eating may be affected as this whole area is connected to the back of the throat and the swelling may make it painful for him to swallow.

 

Catch it early, see the doctor

This dark, moist area of the ear makes a perfect hiding place for germs to multiply and before you know it you could be dealing with a major infection and risk your child’s hearing in that ear. To prevent this and save your toddler much pain and suffering let the doctor take a look.

 

 – Bev

 

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