The following tips may reduce the risk of developing ear infections:
- Prevent common colds and other illnesses. Teach your children to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly and to not share eating and drinking utensils. Teach your children to cough or sneeze into their arm crook. If possible, limit the time your child spends in group child care. A child care setting with fewer children may help. Try to keep your child home from child care or school when ill.
- Avoid secondhand smoke. Make sure that no one smokes in your home. Away from home, stay in smoke-free environments.
- Breast-feed your baby. If possible, breast-feed your baby for at least six months. Breast milk contains antibodies that may offer protection from ear infections.
- If you bottle-feed, hold your baby in an upright position. Avoid propping a bottle in your baby's mouth while he or she is lying down. Don’t put bottles in the crib with your baby.
- Talk to your doctor about vaccinations. Ask your doctor about what vaccinations are appropriate for your child. Seasonal flu shots, pneumococcal and other bacterial vaccines may help prevent ear infections.
April 19, 2016
- Ear infections in children. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/pages/earinfections.aspx. Accessed Jan. 11, 2016.
- Longo DL, et al., eds. Sore throat, earache, and upper respiratory symptoms. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed Jan. 11, 2016.
- Lalwani AK. Otitis media. In: Current Diagnosis & Treatment in Otolaryngology--Head & Neck Surgery. 3rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Jan. 11, 2016.
- Ear tubes. American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/content/ear-tubes. Accessed Jan. 11, 2016.
Ear infection (middle ear)