Ear infections are a common ailment and frustration for many infants, toddlers and children. As their delicate ears, especially the Eustachian tubes, develop and grow, they are sometimes not the most perfectly draining organs. At times, this leads to a little back-up and infection. If your child frequently or occasionally suffers ear infections, have some home remedies on hand to control the pain and discomfort. Be sure to ask your doctor before using them.
A number of readily available plants and herbs have been ingested over the years to encourage ear infection healing, according to Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. Ginger root, licorice, thyme and chamomile are among the more delicious and available. Brew some tea or purchase some natural ginger or licorice snacks to enjoy while waiting for the infection to heal.
You can help children relieve the pain in their ears with a warm compress. Dip a washcloth into warm water and wring out thoroughly or microwave a compress. If you are using a hot pad, cover it with a towel before you place it on the ear. The compress should be warm, not hot.
Because Eustachian tube drainage is often a problem for young children, causing ear infections, one of the best things you can do for a child to prevent infections is to let gravity help you out. While your infant is drinking a bottle, don’t let him lie completely horizontal. Hold him while he is eating, sit him up in a swing or car seat or place him in his high chair. This will give the fluid in his ears an opportunity to run down the tubes, without backing up. You can also place a rolled blanket under one end of his mattress. When he is sleeping, place his head on the blanket side and his feet facing the other side to encourage drainage.
What To Avoid
Don’t push anything into your child’s ear. Drops, water and wax will only fill your child’s ear, possibly causing more pain or infection. If the infection drags on or worsens, your child’s doctor will need to take a look. Don’t make it more difficult by filling it with other liquids. Don’t risk any damage by trying to remove anything from your child’s ear. Usually liquid will have to dry up or drain on its own. Anything else should be removed by a surgeon or doctor with delicate tools.
When To See A Doctor
If your child is struggling with balance, crying out in inconsolable pain or if you see noticeable redness or infection in the ear, see a doctor who can determine the source of the infection and establish a proper treatment.
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