Ear infections and earache

Earaches and ear infections are common in babies and small children and are often associated with pain, discomfort and fever.

Babies and young children are more likely to get middle ear infections than older children because the tubes that connect the middle ear to the throat are smaller, which makes it easier for germs to reach the middle ear.

Most ear infections are caused by bacteria or viruses. Around two thirds of acute ear infections are caused by bacteria.

As with colds and flu, antibiotics do not always help an ear infection. Many middle ear infections will clear up on their own in a few days. However, some children will still need a course of antibiotics, especially if they’re really young or very unwell. So, if you think your child may have an ear infection, it is best to see a doctor.

Common symptoms of ear infections include:

  • Irritability or drowsiness
  • Pulling at their ears or putting their fingers in their ears
  • A fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of interest in food
  • Lack of energy
  • Trouble hearing
  • Loss of balance
  • Pain ranging from mild to intense
  • They may complain of a feeling of pressure or fullness in the ear

If your child has any discharge from the ear (that is not normal ear wax) see your doctor immediately.

To help your child feel better:

  • Give paracetamol such as Dymadon if your child is in pain or has discomfort associated with a fever
  • Make sure that they get enough sleep so the body recovers best when it’s well rested.
  • And a lovely cuddle from mum, dad, gran or grandpa never goes astray.

Ask for Dymadon paracetamol by name at your pharmacy.

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