Have you experienced this before?? babies crying while touching their ears?? I am sure you did.
This is a very common phenomenon. The infants not yet learnt how to speak give us a clue as to where it might be hurting and where the infection might be. In day today practice, many times all parents come across this scenario.
The children get ear infections very easily as the bones in the head are undergoing development. The children have a more horizontal Eustachian tube than the adults. Due to this, the bacteria have easier access to the ear in kids than in adults. There is increased risk of contracting an ear infection in children earlier as compared to adults. The immunity also plays a major role here. The children have immature immune system as compared to adults. This also predisposes the children to contract an infection earlier than the adults
The ear infections are most commonly seen in the ear drum. It is known as otitis media. Oto means ear, itis means inflammation and media means middle, in layman language, Inflammation/ infection of the middle ear.
It has some serious complications if left untreated. It can render the kid deaf, may lead to brain infections, rupture of the ear drum.
Following preventive measure can be undertaken to avoid risk of ear infections:
- Keep kids away from adults or other children suffering from common cold or flu. As it is very contagious and may lead to congestion of nose and throat leading the infection of the ear.
- Instruct the caregiver or the baby sitter to always wash hands before handling the toddler.
- Teach the children also to wash hands often.
- Avoid smoking around the children. As smoking affects the passive smokers the most and renders them susceptible to the infections. Even the fumes of the tobacco smoke present on your cloth might also affect the children.
- Breast feeding has beneficial effect on the immune system of your baby. Research says, that the risk of ear infections is less in children having a family history of susceptibility toinfections of the ear, if they are breast fed.
- Give all the recommended vaccinations to your child on the scheduled time. This will give a boost to their immunity and reduce their susceptibility to most common life threatening infections.
- Don’t habituate babies to sleep with a bottle in their mouth. As the Eustachian tube opens in the throat there are chances of bacterial inoculation and growth due to long standing fluid in the mouth.
- If your baby gets cold or cough, make sure to teach him/her to cover the mouth with a handkerchief/tissue or to cough or sneeze in the crook of an arm or palms of the hands.
- Make sure that you keep your children in a day care centre which is comparatively smaller in size and number kids. As more the number of kids, more are the chances of contracting the infections from other kids.
- Do not make an overuse of the pacifiers. A recent study says that the children not using pacifiers are at less risk to develop an ear infection than children in whom pacifiers are used.
Use these measures to avoid ear infections in your offspring.