Are you concerned about your child developing an ear infection? If so, keep reading to find out about the 8 ear infection symptoms you need to know about.
If you’re the parent of a young child, there’s a good chance you’re going to have to help them cope with an ear infection at least once in the early stages of life.
According to the NIDCD, ear infections are the leading cause of doctor visits among parents with young kids. About five out of every six children will experience an ear infection by the time they turn 3.
To prevent ear infections from taking a toll on your child’s health, make every effort to spot ear infection symptoms early. This will allow you to get your child the proper medical care to clear up the infection sooner than later.
Here are 8 telltale ear infection symptoms you should look out for when it comes to a young child.
1. Your Child Tells You Their Ear Hurts
Did your child just run up to you and tell you that they’re experiencing pain in one of their ears?
There could be a good explanation for it. For example, they may have gotten hit in the ear while playing with their friends.
But ear pain is also one of the most common ear infection symptoms. When bacteria works its way inside of a child’s ear, it can cause inflammation to occur as fluid builds up back behind their eardrum. This can lead to a throbbing pain that won’t go away.
It’s a good idea to take your child to see a doctor for any unexplained pain in their ear. They can prescribe a medication to help your child’s body fight off the infection.
2. They’re Always Tugging at Their Ear
If your child is still on the younger side, they might not know how to express different aches and pains that they’re feeling. But you should be able to tell when they’re dealing with the pain associated with an ear infection based on how they’re behaving.
Kids with ear infections will often tug at their ears numerous times throughout the course of a day. If you notice that they seem fixated on and even frustrated with their ears, ask them what’s wrong and then make an appointment with your doctor to address the issue.
3. They’re Crying or Fussy
It can be tough to tell when a baby has an ear infection. They obviously can’t tell you that there’s a problem with their ear, and they also can’t reach up and pull at it to show you that there is an issue.
Babies will often cry and get very fussy when they have an ear infection, though. So if you have a baby that just won’t stop crying no matter what you do, it’s time to have them checked out by a doctor.
There could, of course, be another issue that is causing them to cry. But many times, ear infections are to blame when babies are unusually fussy or crying more than normal.
4. They’re Having a Hard Time Sleeping
When a child has an ear infection, it’ll make it difficult for them to sleep on their infected ear. That will, in turn, make it hard for them to sleep at all since most kids will attempt to sleep on both sides of their body throughout the course of a night.
If your child is having a hard time getting to sleep and staying asleep through the night, check with them to see if their ear is bothering them. If it is, they’re most likely suffering from an ear infection.
5. They Have a High Fever
As the parent of a young child, a thermometer is going to be one of your best friends. Any time your child isn’t feeling great, pull your thermometer out to see if they have a fever.
Babies and young kids who have ear infections will often have high temperatures to go along with them. If you a sudden spike in your child’s temperature, that should serve as your cue to seek medical attention for them right away.
6. They Have Fluid Coming Out of Their Ear
If you don’t catch ear infection symptoms early enough, you might start to see some of the more serious symptoms present themselves.
Fluid coming out of your child’s ear is one of them. It’s essential for you to take your child to see a doctor as soon as you can if you ever spot fluid emerging from their ear.
7. They’re Struggling to Stay Balanced
As you may or may not know, a person’s inner ears play a big role in their ability to stay balanced. If there are ever any problems within the inner ear, it can cause people to appear as though they’re clumsy and uncoordinated.
If your child is having trouble staying upright and losing their balance a lot these days, they may be experiencing an inner ear infection. Bring them to a doctor to avoid seeing them injure themselves due to their balance issues.
8. They’re Having Trouble Hearing
You might think your kids are just ignoring you when you tell them that it’s time to clean up or eat their dinner. But in reality, an ear infection could be the reason why they’re not responding to your commands.
Because of the pressure that builds up inside a child’s ear when their ear is infected, they’ll sometimes struggle to hear well. They may also have strong reactions to quiet sounds that wouldn’t normally bother them.
Look Out for Ear Infection Symptoms at All Times
There are some young children who don’t get any ear infections when they’re growing up. There are others who get five of them every year and force their parents to take the proper precautions to limit the chances of ear infections affecting them.
No matter which side of the fence your child falls on, keep a close eye out for signs of ear infection symptoms all the time. By catching an infection early, you can limit the effect that it’ll have on your child.
Try to learn as much as you can about ear infections, too. Check out our blog for information on the contagiousness of ear infections.