When to Worry: Ear Infections

Ear infections are very common in babies, but it can be hard to know when your bundle of joy has one. Here are the signs and symptoms for an ear infection in your infant so you can get him help.


Chances are; your baby will get an ear infection at some point. About 75 percent of kids get them before they're 3 years old. Ear infections often begin after a cold when fluid gets trapped in the middle ear and becomes infected by a virus or bacteria. Your baby pulling at her ear is not a very reliable sign that she has an infection. So look for these instead. She's crying more than usual. Ear infections are painful, so your baby may seem fuzzy and have trouble sleeping. An infection is especially likely if your baby becomes upset when she's lying down. She's had a cold for several days and now she seems like she's in pain. If your child has cold symptoms, and then suddenly seems more uncomfortable, have her ears checked. Many children with ear infections will have fever ranging from 101 to 104. However, fever alone does not mean that your child has an ear infection. Usually, they'll see other symptoms such as congestion, and ear pain too. A doctor can check your baby's ears to see if she has an infection. If she's under 6 months, they'll probably get a prescription for antibiotic. For older children, your pediatrician may want to simply observe the ears to see if an infection will clear up on its own. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen for babies older than 6 months can help relieve her pain and bring down her fever.

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