What Causes Ear Infections in Toddlers


According to the National Institute of health, out of 6 children, 5 children may experience ear infections before three. This is why most parents remain concerned about their children having an ear infection. Because ear infections cannot be detected quickly and mostly it’s not easy to treat.

So because of this reason we are going to write a segment about this topic. Here we will tell you about childhood ear infections, signs and symptoms, and ways to prevent ear infections in toddlers. Let’s start discussing it;

Childhood Ear Infections

Most ear infections in toddlers are caused when they have inflammation inside their ears. This inflammation happens because of the bacterias trapped in the middle ear, the part of the ear that connects the ear with the throat and nose. A common type of ear infection is called otitis media.

This infection happens when lots of fluid build up in the middle ear and behind the eardrum; as a result which it gets swollen and infected.

If your child explains about a cold, sore throat, and some respiratory issues or infection, then there are chances that bacterias can spread all over the middle ear around their eustachian tubes.

These tubes are the channels that connect the throat to the middle ear. Because of infection all around the ear, fluid fills the whole eardrum. 

Causes of Ear Infections in Toddlers

Following are the two leading causes for developing an ear infection in toddlers;

  1. who have their immune system less equipped and underdeveloped to deal with infections.
  2. who have small and more horizontal eustachian tubes can have more accumulated fluid in the middle ear. Their shapes of lines make it difficult for drainage.

Most of the time, fluid gets trapped in the middle ear and repeatedly returns without even infection, so there are chances of disease in the toddler’s ear. 

Ear Infection Signs and Symptoms

Now let’s discuss some signs of the ear infection. Young children may speak clearly about the problems with their ears, but toddlers cannot tell their parents about their pain. So following symptoms and signs can help you to identify ear infection in them; 

  • Loss of balance
  • Fluid draining from the ear
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Irritability and crying
  • Tugging and pulling of the ear
  • Fever
  • Difficulty in hearing
  • Difficulty in responding to auditory cues

Parents need to give immediate attention to signs of severe pain, high fever, pus, or blood discharge from the ears. 

Treatments for Ear Infections

As you have known that what are the causes of ear infection in toddlers, now we will tell you about treatments for ear infections in toddlers;

Most of the time, the ear infections are not treated because doctors fear if ear infections antibiotics are given, then this may cause resistance in bacteria against antibiotics.

And that situation can make future treatments of ear infections difficult. So the doctor advises waiting at first. But let’s see whats the doctor recommendation for treatments at different ages;

Under six months

Babies who are under the age of 6 years are given antibiotics. But at this age, the children are not completely vaccinated. No research says that skipping antibiotics is safe. So at this age, if there are no antibiotics given, this may produce infections. 

From six months to two years

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that children aged between 6 months and 2 years are kept in wait for the infection to disappear on its own. For two to three days, they are not treated. But after this, if the infection goes on, they might be given antibiotics to reduce inflammation and pain. 

Above 2 years

Children who are above 2 years may be easier for antibiotics such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. If they don’t feel any betterment, then their antibiotics can be replaced with other antibiotics. 

Surgical treatment

Most of the time, the child can suffer from ear infections up to 5-6 years. In those situations, the doctors can treat them through surgical means, which involve inserting small tubes into the eardrum for improving fluid build-up or airflow. 

Prevention for Ear Infections

Now let’s discuss some preventions which you may take to prevent your child from getting an infection in the ears;

Consider breastfeeding

Breast milk contains several antibodies which can help you to fight against ear infections. So make sure that your child is taking it. And even if the child is not taking breast milk, it’s necessary to give them some formula milk that contains antibiotics and essential nutrients that help them fight against bacterias and infections in their bodies. 

Vaccination of child

Doctors say that children who take vaccines are less likely to have infections than those who do not take vaccinations. So you should do vaccination of your children. A vaccine named PCV13 is used to prevent 12 types of infections. 

Avoid second-hand smoking

Most of the studies depict that secondhand smoking may promote the growth of infectious particles inside the ears. Therefore, try to keep your child away from cigarette smoke. Otherwise, it may affect your child badly, and there can be some risks of ear infections. 

Keep the child away from sick people

Don’t let your child spend time with people who have the sickness. Because their body can have germs, and it may get transferred inside your children. 

Touch the child with clean hands

Always touch your child with washed hands as it may produce bacterias in the ear through germs transference. Because most germs get attached to the hands, and then they can transfer to your baby’s skin. Always touch your child with washed hands as it may produce bacterias in the ear through germs transference.

Moreover, you may try some toddler ear infection home remedies made from natural ingredients. As you all know about ear infections in toddlers and other treatments, we hope that you will not face any problems now.

But if you think that your child is in a problem and needs treatment, you may contact the best ear specialists in Karachi. 

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