Almost every child will get an ear infection at some point before age five. Health Briefs TV shares some pointers for helping parents in the prevention of getting them and offers suggestions about how to deal with them.
Ear infections, also called acute otitis media, occur when mucus and bacteria travel up the Eustachian tube from the back of a child’s germ-ridden nose into the normally sterile and dry middle-ear space. Little children’s Eustachian tube is not fully grown and sturdy as that of an older child. The more sturdy the tube, the less likely germs can find their way past it to create an ear infection.
Nearly all kids will get an ear infection. Fifteen percent of all kids develop more than one within six months of time. Seventy percent of ear infections are hereditary which makes them, more or less, non-preventable. Health Briefs TV learns there are some things parents can do to try and prevent them:
Breast feed baby for at last four months. Doctors warn thought that a feeding baby a combination of breast milk and formula is not as helpful as breast milk by itself.
Vaccinate the baby on schedule. The vaccine for pneumococcus, which prevents the bacteria which causes ear infections, reduces the infection rate to 8%, and reduces the need for ear tubes by 25%. The flu vaccine reduces the chance of developing an ear infection by a significant 30%.
Second-hand smoke increases the chance of ear infections by 25%.
Discourage using a pacifier after age one as this increases of developing an ear infection by 30%.
If the baby is in day care, check to see if it offers small playgroups to discourage the spread of germs. Every little bit done to prevent an ear infection saves kids from painful ear infections, and relieves parents of the torment of hearing their child cry in agony.