Many parents know how concerning it is when their child starts to complain about an earache. Ear infections are one of the most common reasons for a children’s doctors visit. An ear infection is medically known as Otitis Media (OM), which is inflammation of the middle ear and can occur as a result of a cold, sore throat, or other upper respiratory infection. Typically caused by bacteria, this condition affects 80% of children, who have at least one episode by age 3.
What causes ear infections in children?
The high prevalence of ear infections among children is due to several reasons. Eustachian tubes in children are smaller than adults, which can make it difficult to drain fluid out of the ear. Additionally, children’s immune systems are weaker making it harder to fight infection.
What are the factors associated with a higher risk of childhood ear infections?
Factors that may increase your child’s risk of developing ear infections include second-hand smoke exposure, family history of ear infections, sub-optimal immune system, daycare attendance, absence of breastfeeding, frequent colds, bottle feeding at night or while the child is on his or her back. Read more