How to Handle Ear Infections at Home

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By the time your child has reached the age of 5, he or she may have already suffered through at least one ear infection. And according to The American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS), ear infections account for 25 million office visits annually with direct costs for treatment estimated at $3 billion.

Antibiotics are still the most recommended solution to ear infections for children under the age of 1, even though most ear infections are caused by viruses. A study from the Archives of Otolaryngology showed that 88% of children with ear infections never needed antibiotics, and antibiotics did not shorten the lifespan of the illness. Many doctors have started to use a wait and see option for children over the age of 1, basically waiting to see if the ear infection clears up on its own, letting the body’s own immune system do the work in clearing the infection.

Still, as most parents know, ear infections can be painful and we want to protect our children from them as much as possible. If your child has an ear infection, treat the symptoms with the following tips, to help provide relief.

1. Place a warm compress over the infected ear to relieve pain.

2. Gentle massage around the ear may also provide some relief.

3. Prop your child’s head up at a 30-degree angle while he or she is lying down. This encourages drainage and discourages any feeling of pressure.

4. Use ear drops, such as Gaia’s Ear Oil. Warm bottle in hands and place two to five drops in the infected ear, then place a cotton ball in the ear to prevent the oil leaking out. Your child may smell like garlic, but the ear oil is soothing and the garlic has antibacterial properties.

If after 3 days your child still has the ear infection, take go back to the doctor.

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August 2012
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