Your child has a sore ear, a cold for a few days, or fever? He may be suffering from an infection of the middle ear, better known as otitis. The advice to relieve and treat with Prs Annick Galetto-Lacour and Alain Gervaix, authors of the practical guide “Hello Doctor, my child is sick”!
Painful Ear Infections in Children
Your child complains of having a painful ear infection and he does not hear as well and feels that his ears are clogged. You notice that he is constantly rubbing his ears and is grumpy. He cries when lying on his back and seems uncomfortable. He has had a cold for a few days, sometimes with fever. It is probably an acute otitis media, an infection of the middle ear, the part of the ear behind the eardrum.
Otitis media are common: some children, unfortunately, suffer many times. Otitis is often preceded by a cold, which clogs the canal draining the middle ear into the back of the nose (the Eustachian tube). The middle ear is no longer “cleansed” by the Eustachian tube, microbes develop, causing infection, and pus accumulates. The pressure of the pus against the eardrum hurts and is sometimes enough to perforate the eardrum. The pus then flows through the conduit to the outside. Fortunately, the eardrum heals in a few days.
Treat your child
Do not instill drops in the ears without prior notice from your pediatrician. Your child may have a perforated eardrum; it is dangerous to introduce certain types of drops.
If your child complains of pain or has a fever above 38.5 ° C and has poor support, you can give him paracetamol. Also remember to decongest the nose, which can be blocked by dry secretions. Use saline at will (salt water in the form of drops to the nose) to rinse his nose thoroughly and then ask him to blow his nose. If your baby is too small to blow his nose, inhale his secretions with a baby fly. If saline is not enough, your pediatrician will prescribe drops of nasal decongestant. Use a dosage for babies – even if your child is older – the drops are less aggressive to the nose. But beware: these drops must be used for a maximum of five days.
Did you know?
For children with frequent ear infections and hearing loss, it is possible to place small tubes (drains) through the eardrum to facilitate the drainage of pus. It is then a surgical operation under general anesthesia.
If your child is more than one year old and does not have repeated ear infections, it is possible to wait two days before administering antibiotics. Indeed, some otitis can heal spontaneously in this interval: the pus then drains alone by the Eustachian tube. Thus, some of the antibiotic treatments can be avoided. During this time, your child will receive anti-inflammatory medications for fever and pain. If after two days the otitis is not cured, antibiotics will be necessary.
If your child is under one year of age or has severe otitis (accompanied by high fever or a very red, rounded eardrum), your pediatrician will immediately prescribe an antibiotic to take by mouth. If the eardrum is not perforated, the drugs in the form of drops are useless. Be sure to give all prescribed doses carefully and, if necessary, arrange for the person who is caring for your child to administer the medicine in your absence. In addition, it is important to continue treatment until the end, even if the child is better, to avoid a relapse of the infection. Under antibiotic, fever and pain must decrease in two days.
Consult at the right time
You should immediately consult the pediatrician if your child has a stiff neck, if you are worried, if he has redness and pain behind the ear of the ear.
The consultation can be done within 24 hours if he still has fever and ear pain at the end of two days of anti-inflammatory treatment or if he has fever or ear pain two days after the start of antibiotic treatment.