Chances your child will catch it: 75 percent of kids have one by age 3.
Symptoms: Your child will likely have a fever, pull at her ears, and be irritable. She may also have trouble sleeping.
Contagious? No, but the cold that led to the ear infection probably is.
Rx: Ibuprofen or acetaminophen will reduce the pain and fever. Your pediatrician may prescribe antibiotics or wait to see if the infection clears up on its own. Also try this remedy from Richard Burnstine, MD, clinical professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, in Chicago: Place a paper towel in the bottom of a small plastic cup, pour in a little hot water, squeeze off the excess liquid into a sink, and put the cup over your child's ear. The warm moisture will ease her pain.
You need to know: An ear infection can literally appear overnight. "The ear may look perfectly fine one day, and the next day there's a full-blown flare-up," says Jennifer Shu, MD, a Parents advisor and editor of American Academy of Pediatrics' Baby & Child Health.