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Recurrent Ear Infection

Some chil­dren are prone to recur­rent ear infec­tions. The most com­mon cause is when the Eustachi­an tube, which con­nects the mid­dle ear to the back of the nose, doesn’t drain well because of its anatom­i­cal struc­ture. This prob­lem improves with age — hence most chil­dren out­grow” ear infections.

It can be very dis­tress­ing for a par­ent to repeat­ed­ly bring a child in with the same type of infec­tion. There are some things that you can do to lessen your child’s risk of ear infec­tions. Lim­it your child’s expo­sure to sec­ond­hand smoke, when­ev­er pos­si­ble. Research shows that expo­sure to cig­a­rette smoke makes chil­dren more like­ly to devel­op ear infec­tions and may pro­long recov­ery. Also, try to min­i­mize your child’s expo­sure to sick chil­dren. Chil­dren who attend group child care tend to suf­fer more ill­ness­es of all sorts, includ­ing ear infec­tions. Feed­ing prac­tices such as breast feed­ing and avoid­ing feed­ing your baby lying down have been shown to decrease the risk of ear infec­tions. In a small per­cent­age of chil­dren, aller­gies may con­tribute to ear infec­tions. And last­ly, it is impor­tant to teach your child how to blow his or her nose, when age appro­pri­ate, to lessen chances of ear infections.