Ear Infections Can Be Confused With Teething
When your toddler starts tugging on his ear, you may assume that's a telltale sign of an ear infection. He might do the same thing, though, if he's cutting teeth; nerves in the back teeth branch out to the middle ear, so it can feel like his pain is coming from his ear. If he has a fever and seems to be most uncomfortable lying down, it's more likely he has an ear infection, says Dr. Dempsey. Red, swollen gums are a sign of teething. In general, the symptoms of ear infections could describe a variety of illnesses -- or a child who's just having a bad day: He might push his food away, have trouble sleeping, or cry more than usual. But if your instincts tell you that there's something wrong, especially if your child has a fever, it makes sense to have your pediatrician take a look.