If you think way, way back to your early childhood, you may remember howling in pain after coming down with a nasty ear infection. Even if you don’t remember, we guarantee that your parents remember it well. Many a worried parent has taken their young child to an Ear Nose and Throat Doctor for help dealing with their baby’s first ear or sinus infections. For new parents, ear infections are among the most common ENT problems they have to learn how to deal with.
By their third birthday, five out of every six kids will suffer through an ear infection, and one in three will have at least three. Left untreated, ear nose and throat problems in children and adolescents can lead to hearing loss, cholesteatoma and other chronic ear problems.
So how can parents prevent ear infections, the most common ENT problems in kids?
- As soon as you can, teach your children to sneeze into tissues and not into their hands.
- Sadly, pacifiers have been correlated with increased ear infections. If your son or daughter is too attached to their paci to take it away completely, try limiting their time with it to bedtime and naptime.
- Avoid secondhand smoke whenever possible!
- Keep your kids away from sick children when you can.
- Breastfeeding has been shown to boost kids’ immune systems, which can help decrease common ENT problems like ear infections.
- Make sure your child gets plenty of fluids, vitamins, and sleep.
- Tell everyone who cares for your child to wash their hands regularly (that includes you!).
- When you give your baby a bottle, don’t let them lie down. Doctors say liquid can often pool inside their ears, which causes bacterial infections.
Even for adults, ear infections can be incredibly painful and difficult to deal with. For very young children, they can often be unbearable. If you want to help your child avoid these common ENT problems, then take these precautions to help avoid future infections.
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