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4 Tips for Preventing Ear Infections

4 Tips for Preventing Ear Infections

The following information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

If your child has ever had an ear infection, you know that having one seems to increase the likelihood of a repeat. But you can potentially reduce their number and severity by following these simple tips, all suggested by Circle of Moms members.

1. Drink Sitting Up

Many moms swear that lying down and drinking can cause fluid build-up in the ears, and Liz H. explains that a child's eustachian tubes are more parallel to the floor (when standing) than an adult's, so lying down can cause fluid to drain down toward the ear.

Ashley B. remembers being told this when her daughter was a baby. While she didn't think much of it at the time, now that he's started getting ear infections, she's doing everything she can to prevent their recurrence, including making sure he's upright when he's drinking from his sippy cup.

2. Avoid Pacifiers

Katherine C. quotes the Mayo Clinic's advisory that "Pacifier use may increase the risk of middle ear infections," and Melissa B. concurs. As she explains, pacifiers can create pressure in the ears, and that pressure can trap any fluid that might be present, causing infection. Her son only uses a pacifier at night, but she feels that this is the most crucial time, and she's trying to wean her son off the binky entirely.

 

3. Consider Chiropractic Work

Most of us think of chiropractors as people who crack backs, but they've also had a long track record of helping children with chronic ear infections. Connie G.'s son got tremendous relief after a chiropractor carefully massaged around the lymph nodes near his ear, gently tugging the ear lobe down in the direction that would encourage draining.

She also reminds us that, while antibiotics are necessary to treat some infections, many will clear up on their own, and a good chiropractor can make this distinction.

4. Practice Good Hygiene to Prevent Colds

One of the biggest causes of ear infections is secondary infection from a cold or flu, so while it is something you likely already do, a focus on thorough hand washing can help prevent colds from taking hold in the first place. This small step will go along way to preventing the root cause of many infections, some of which, in little kids, will invariably end up in the ears.

The preceding information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

Image Source: Courtesy of Edgar Barany via Flickr/Creative Commons

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

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LauraMathewson LauraMathewson 3 years
Our daughter has never used a dummy (pacifier), always drank sitting up, and we have good hygiene ... yet she had chronic ear infections for 10 months. The antibiotics (10 times) just masked the problem, and she became immune to certain types. We had her tested for all sorts of allergies and tried cutting out certain foods, but nothing worked. She was having convulsions, being violently sick, and was generally just miserable. She had the grommets put in at 17 months old. She will be 2 next week, and she hasn't been unwell since :) Yes, these things may HELP to prevent ear infections, but if there's an underlying problem there, nothing is going to stop the infections from developing.
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