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Ear Infections

Ear infections are fairly common, particularly in the winter, and usually follow a cold.

Inside the ear becomes swollen causing fluid to be trapped. This allows bacteria and viruses to spread easily. Usually your baby will develop a fever to try and combat the ear infection. So, a cold followed by a fever can suggest an ear infection. Other signs of ear infections include balance problems, tugging at the ear, or pulling away when feeding due to pain when swallowing.

If you suspect your baby has an ear infection you should go to the GP who may prescribe antibiotics. The infection should go away in about four days time with or without antibiotics. To treat the fever you can give liquid paracetamol but only if your baby is over three months old. Read the dosage instructions carefully. Although your baby may find it painful to feed it is important that you encourage them to drink lots of milk or water in order to stay hydrated.

You may notice pus or yellowish blood-like fluid in the ear. This usually clears up after a few days. If your baby's infection doesn't seem to be getting any better after four days it may mean they have a more serious ear infection. You should get it checked out by the doctor. Severe ear infections or recurring ear infections can lead to hearing problems so it is important to get checked out as soon as possible.

September 2012
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