As a parent, one of the most distressing things to see is your child crying incessantly. An earache mostly affects one ear, but it can also affect both ears and it usually comes with a dull or sharp pain. On the other hand, when there is ear infection, fever and temporary hearing loss may occur. If your baby is fussy, cries more than usual, has a high temperature, and tugs at their ear, they may have an ear infection. My daughter gets recurrent ear infections and I know how tough it can be to watch that happen.
The most common cause of earache is infection. 95% of earaches are caused by viral or bacterial infections.
Children while playing will sometimes put objects in their ears and this can later cause pain.
The least common cause of earache might be a burst eardrum because of an accident, or because a cotton bud or something that has been pushed too far into your child’s ear.
When your child is showing signs of ear infections or complain of a really sore ear and they’ve got a high temperature, here are the things that you can do as a parent just to support them through the process;
- Paracetamol and ibuprofen should be given at regulated doses to keep the pain at bay and keep the temperature down.
- Cold or warm pack should be placed on your child’s ear.
- Make sure to keep your child hydrated.
- keep your child’s head elevated.
- Ensure that they get adequate rest, ear aches are horrible things to experience so show them enough love and compassion.
Bacterial ear infections need an oral antibiotic while viral ear infections get better on their own. Very rarely, you might need to go and see a GP when your child’s got ear ache and the nurse practitioner or the GP will help understand whether or not you need some antibiotics. Antibiotics won’t be helpful if the ear infection is caused by a virus so here are a few clues of when an antibiotic might be needed so that you don’t have to go through all the effort of trying to book a GP’s appointment when you’re gonna get that frustrating advice that it’s a virus and that can be a very annoying thing to hear sometimes so remember actually most ear infections are caused by viruses and the immune system is fantastic in fighting them off. If your child got any earache lasting more than five days that’s often a sign that the bacteria has got in and you might need some antibiotics and if you also notice that they’ve got a temperature that is consistently higher than 38 degrees despite the paracetamol and ibuprofen, also if you see puss coming out of one of their ears that’s a sure sign that there’s bacteria in the ear, that’s gonna need either some antibiotic drops or some medicine and the fourth thing is that if they have ear ache on both sides at the same time. If these things are happening do give your nurse practitioner or GP a ring and get an appointment to get your child seen and assessed further but actually remember most times ear ache, especially on one side will get better on its own completely without the need for antibiotics.
Support your child, allow them to rest, give them plenty of fluids, give them regular pain relief through paracetamol and ibuprofen and you’ll find actually they fight it off themselves in three to five days, because our own immune systems are brilliant at fighting viruses but they just need a bit of time.