Mar 15, 2011

Ear Infections

Ear infections are horrible. Especially when it happens to your 16 month old who has been sick for the entire months of February! It makes me feel so guilty because I'm the one that put him in daycare...but that's for another day. As a nurse you would think I know the signs and symptoms of an ear infection. You know the cold, high fever, tugging at ears and not sleeping well? Well my child is the exception to that rule. He only showed signs of a cold and one day of a high fever three weeks earlier. (which I took him into the office at that time and the Ped said it was just a cold).The only time he showed any signs was the night he didn't sleep AT ALL. He just cried and dozed. It was awful. I could tell he was in so much pain. We gave him the usual Tylenol and ibuprofen and scheduled an appointment the next day. Turns out he had a raging bilateral ear infection. 

This leads me to the point of this post: 
Not all children fall into a written category. If you believe your child is sick do something about it. Follow your motherly instincts. 

 Here's a list of usual signs and symptoms of a possible ear infection courtesy of KidsHealth

  • The fluid in the middle ear may push on the eardrum, causing ear pain. An older child may complain of an earache, but a younger child may tug at the ear or simply act irritable and cry more than usual.
  • Lying down, chewing, and sucking can also cause painful pressure changes in the middle ear, so a child may eat less than normal or have trouble sleeping.
  • If the pressure from the fluid buildup is high enough, it can cause the eardrum to rupture, resulting in drainage of fluid from the ear. This releases the pressure behind the eardrum, usually bringing relief from the pain.

I would like to add that my little man just tilted his head and kind of moped around. He didn't act different,  and he still ate like crazy. He also slept well. Daycare also really didn't notice anything different.

I am not going to get into the debate over treatment with antibiotics or home remedies. Just know that whatever you choose you need to make the choice based on what is best for your child. Ear infections are painful, but they are not contagious.  Yes, sometimes they will resolve on their own, but I believe that your babies need some help getting to that resolution of being pain free. Do Something!
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