ENT Tips for Kids

February is Kids ENT Health Awareness month.

Many parents have tried to provide comfort to a baby or toddler with an ear infection as they are quite common – a whopping three-quarters of children will get one by age 3. 

What is an ear infection?

An ear infection occurs in the middle ear, an air-filled space behind the eardrum. What causes these painful infections? The most common cause is the common cold. Secretions get trapped in the middle ear and promote the growth of viruses and bacteria.

The signs and symptoms of an ear infection include the following:

  • Ear pain, especially when lying down
  • Pulling at the ear
  • Poor sleep
  • Crying, fussiness
  • Troble hearing
  • Loss of balance
  • Fever of 100 F or higher
  • Draining of fluid from the ear
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite

What to do if you suspect your child has an ear infection?

Contact your child’s primary care physician or pediatrician if you notice the symptoms of an ear infection. The provider may refer to an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) physician as frequent ear infections can lead to serious complications such as:

  • Impaired hearing
  • Speech delays
  • Spread of infection
  • Tearing of the eardrum

For more information on a number of kids ENT health-related issues, visit ENThealth.org.

Richard Alexander, MD, PhD, MBA practices at Granville ENT located at 102 Professional Park Drive in Oxford. For more information and to schedule an appointment, visit ghshospital.org/granvilleENT or call 919-692-0003.