What... (i.e. camp, dance class, birthday party)
        
 
Pick a NYMetroParents Region: All Regions   Manhattan    Brooklyn    Queens    Westchester    Rockland   Fairfield    Nassau    Suffolk  

Resources

   

KEEPING AN EYE OUT FOR EAR INFECTIONS

     Home  >  Articles  > Health Advice & Tips
by Pramod Narula, M.D.

Related:


My child seems exceptionally prone to ear infections during the summer.  Why is this, and is there anything I can do to prevent it?


   During the dog days of summer, the rise in temperature outside can be directly proportional to time spent at the neighborhood pool.  Unfortunately for kids, this often means the painful occurrence and recurrence of ear infections. 

   Ear infections, also called otitis media, are caused when fluid gets trapped in the middle ear, where sound is transmitted from the eardrum to the part of the ear that processes sound.  The trapped fluid provides an ideal environment for viral or bacterial infections to take root.  As the body tries to fight the infection, the amount of fluid in the middle ear increases, which can temporarily impair hearing and put painful pressure on the eardrum.

   Because of the shape of the middle ear, young children are more susceptible to infection than adults or teenagers.  In fact, ear infections are so common that 75 percent of children will experience an ear infection before they are 3 years old, and some estimates put the annual cost of ear infections in the U.S. in the billions.  It’s important to treat ear infections, as the associated temporary hearing loss may impair language-development skills in young children.

   Unfortunately there’s not much one can do to prevent ear infections, other than keeping children’s immune systems as strong as possible.  Children who seem especially prone to ear infections should therefore be kept away from sick playmates and tobacco smokers.  Bottle-fed infants who feed while lying down also appear to develop these infections more frequently than breast-fed babies.

   Treatment consists of antibiotics to fight the infection, and your child’s doctor may also recommend a pain reliever.  Make sure the child takes all antibiotics prescribed, or the infection may recur.  In cases of persistent fluid, your child’s doctor may suggest a surgical process called myringotomy, where “tubes” are inserted in the eardrum to keep the middle ear ventilated and in equal pressure with the environment.

   Because many children who develop infections are too young to tell someone what’s bothering them, keep an eye out for these symptoms:
—Fluid draining from the ear
—Tugging or pulling at one or both ears
—Fever
—Signs of hearing difficulty, such as unresponsiveness to quiet sounds, or sitting close to the television.

Pramod Narula, M.D., is chairman of pediatrics at New York Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn.


Never lack for a family activity

Receive our weekly highlights newsletter · Over 1,000 local activities

More Health Advice & Tips Articles

Three Tips for a Happier Holiday
Hosting the Holidays? Don’t Drive Yourself Crazy
New & Noteworthy-New 'It' Products for Kids & Parents
Fighting Childhood Obesity
Springtime Allergies & Kids

Be a good fellow parent and share this with a friend who would be interested
Email Friend

Local Health Advice & Tips Sponsors


Trinity Lutheran School and Early Childhood Center
40 West Nicholai Street
Hicksville, NY
516- 931-2211
Trinity Lutheran School is a Parochial School in t...

Brooklyn Heights Montessori School
185 Court St.
Brooklyn Heights, NY
718-858-5100
A Montessori Summer offers exciting and stimulatin...

Cymerman, Dr. Diane
2500 Nesconset Hwy (Route 347)
Stony Brook, NY
631-751-6262
Dr. Cymerman has been caring for children with all...

Teatown Lake Reservation
1600 Spring Valley Road
Ossining, NY
914-762-2912
Teatown's Natural Science Summer Day Camp 2014 is ...

Temple Beth El Nursery & Religious School
415 Viola Road
Spring Valley, NY
845-352-5823
In the tradition of the finest private schools, Te...
See Our Health Advice & Tips Directory

local zones

Nassau

Nassau cont.

Suffolk

Suffolk cont.

Westchester

Westchester cont.

Fairfield

Rockland

Rockland cont.

Queens

Queens cont.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn cont.

Manhattan

Copyright 2015 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE