Fever, vomiting, no appetite--the symptoms of any illness can be awful for a child, but the commonness of ear infections make them even worse and something to look out for. By the time a child is five years old, almost all children will have had at least one ear infection. In the Palm Beach Gardens, FL area, the pediatricians at Children’s Physicians are here to ease your worries and fears. They want you to know what to do when your child has an ear infection.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of an Ear Infection?
â€‹Ear Pain - Older children may be able to tell you they are having pain. Children unable to speak yet will often tug or pull at their ear.
Loss of appetite
Thick, yellow, or bloody drainage from the ear
What Should I do at Home?
To provide care at home for your child with an ear infection, you should start them on a pain reliever such as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Follow the package directions for how much to give you child based on their weight and age, and how often. Giving a pain reliever prior to bed is especially important.
You should also try applying moist heat, such as a warm washcloth, to the ear that is painful. Try keeping your child's head in an upright position during the day because this will help drain away fluid from the ear. Encourage plenty of rest.
When Should I Call the Doctor?
If you child is having severe pain, running a high fever of over 101 degrees, has a stiff neck, or their ear is noticeably red or swollen, you should call your Palm Beach Gardens pediatrician right away.
If your child is mildly sick and over the age of two, rest and care at home may be all that is needed. If you child isn't better after a few days of home treatment, call your child’s doctor for an appointment.
Are Antibiotics Always Needed for an Ear Infection?
Most ear infections will get better on their own without antibiotics. Research is showing that a lot of ear infections are caused by viruses, so antibiotics will not be helpful to a viral ear infection. However, some ear infections are bacterial and will need to be treated with antibiotics. Your doctor will decide if antibiotics are necessary.
At Children’s Physicians, we understand how worrisome it is when your child is sick and we are here to answer your questions. Call our pediatricians in the Palm Beach Gardens, FL area today. We will help see you through your child's illness.