Infectious diseases A-Z: Does your child have ear pain?

January 4, 2018 by From Mayo Clinic News Network, Mayo Clinic News Network

Is your child complaining of an earache? It could be an infection. Children are more prone to ear infections than adults, and they can be painful. Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a Mayo Clinic pediatric infectious diseases specialist says, "Ear infections can be caused by both viruses and bacteria. Some of the common cold viruses can cause inflammation of the middle ear.

"There are common bacterial causes of , as well, says Dr. Rajapakse. "The most common is called Streptococcus pneumoniae." These bacteria are spread through coughing, sneezing, and close contact with an infected person.

To prevent ear infections in children, you should:

- Practice good hand-washing.

- Ensure your is up to date on vaccinations.

- Avoid secondhand smoke.

- Breast-feed your baby.

If you bottle-feed, hold your baby in an upright position.

Ear infections can be uncomfortable. If your child is having painful symptoms, there are ways to help. Dr. Rajapakse says, "If the child is having pain, medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help to alleviate some of that pain." Many ear infections will get better on their own without needing an antibiotic—even if they are caused by bacteria. You should talk to your health care provider to see if watchful waiting is a good option for your child especially if he or she is generally healthy and his or her symptoms are mild.

Dr. Rajapakse says to always take your child to a if you are concerned or if symptoms persist.

Explore further: Infectious diseases A-Z: Antibiotics in farm animals

2 shares

Related Stories

Infectious diseases A-Z: Antibiotics in farm animals

November 23, 2017
The World Health Organization is urging countries to restrict the use of antibiotics in food animal production. Food producers in many countries feed low-dose antibiotics to farm animals to encourage the animals to grow bigger ...

Home remedies: Antibiotics or home remedies

November 28, 2017
For parents, it can be hard to tell whether your child's illness requires antibiotics or if there are other ways to effectively treat his or her symptoms. To prevent overuse of these drugs, it's important to know when home ...

Infectious diseases A-Z: Will eating undercooked pork make you sick?

August 30, 2017
Eating raw or undercooked pork infected with the parasitic worms, Trichinella spiralis, can lead to trichinosis.

How to spot a common, potentially dangerous, childhood illness

January 12, 2017
(HealthDay)—Nearly all children get respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) by age 2. But just because the infection is common doesn't mean it should be taken lightly, one nursing specialist warns.

Antibiotics are not always the answer

July 7, 2017
The discovery of penicillin in 1928 was heralded as a medical miracle. As one of the first antibiotics, it could cure patients of potentially deadly bacterial illnesses, such as scarlet fever, typhoid and pneumonia.

Respiratory infections in children often treated unnecessarily with antibiotics

May 22, 2017
Many childhood virus infections are mistaken for bacterial infection and risk being unnecessarily treated with antibiotics. A new thesis from Karolinska Institutet on respiratory infections in children shows that viruses ...

Recommended for you

Largest oral HPV study in England shows infection rates lower than expected

August 20, 2018
Infection rates of high risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) oral infection in England are lower than expected, compared to previous US studies.

Tibetan sheep highly susceptible to human plague, originates from marmots

August 16, 2018
In the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, one of the region's highest risk areas for human plague, Himalayan marmots are the primary carriers of the infectious bacterium Y. pestis. Y. pestis infection can be transmitted to humans and ...

Autoimmunity plays role in development of COPD, study finds

August 16, 2018
Autoimmunity plays a role in the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study led by Georgia State University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center that analyzed human genome information ...

Reliable point-of-care blood test can help prevent toxoplasmosis

August 16, 2018
A recent study, performed in Chicago and Rabat, Morocco, found that a novel finger-prick test for infection with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii during pregnancy—and many other potential applications—is 100 percent sensitive ...

Scientists identify nearly 200 potential tuberculosis drug targets

August 16, 2018
Tuberculosis is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide. Nearly 2 million people die every year from this infectious disease, and an estimated 2 billion people are chronically infected. The only vaccine, developed almost ...

First mouse model to mimic lung disease could speed discovery of more effective treatments

August 16, 2018
The biggest hurdle to finding effective therapies for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) – a life-threatening condition in which the lungs become scarred and breathing is increasingly difficult – has been the inability ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.