Common Signs Of Infected Ear In Toddlers
Once your child is four years or above, life becomes a lot simpler because he's able to tell you if he's got any aches or pains. But until then, figuring out what's bothering your toddler is entirely up to your diagnostic skills and of course the keen parental eye.
This is especially true if your toddler is suffering from a ear infection. This can be really tricky to figure out as lots of toddlers regularly tug their ears or rub them, sometimes to indicate tiredness and in infants perhaps because of teething. So it is important to know whether they are pulling their ears because they hurt or just because they are sleepy.
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Symptoms of ear infection in toddlers
These may not be definite indication, however, if your toddler shows one or more of these symptoms its best to consult a pediatrician.
- Tugging on the ear: If your toddler does in fact have a ear infection, you will find that he is constantly tugging at his ears, even after napping or being fed.
- Reduced appetite: Toddlers tend to eat very little or sometimes refuse food altogether because the ear infection makes it painful to chew and swallow.
- Flu symptoms: This is by no means a definite indicator but usually an ear infection is preceded with a cold or cough. Of course, the flu could also be viral but in some cases it's also a prelude to an ear infection. Some toddlers even run a fever when they have a ear infection. Sometimes, depending on the type of infection, the toddler might throw up or have diarrhoea. This is because certain ear infections also affect the gastrointestinal tract.
- Increased tantrums: Again while this isn't definite, if your toddler is excessively cranky, irritable and more fussy than usual then this is a sign that something is making him uncomfortable, like a bad stomach or ear pains. You will also notice that your toddler has difficulty sleeping because ear infections also make napping a painful affair.
- Fluid from the ear or odor: Sometimes there is an unpleasant odor emanating from the toddler's ears indicating an infection. In certain rare instance, you might even notice a fluid coming out of the ear. This means there is a hole in the eardrum and the fluid seeping out is the pus. But there isn't any need to panic. Once the infection clears, the hole will be healed. It is essential that you take your child to the doctor immediately.
- Hearing difficulties: Certain type of infections might cause the earwax to thicken enough to create difficulties for the toddler to hear soft sounds. Sometimes, you might even find your toddler being a tad unsteady on his feet because the ears are an integral part of maintaining posture balance.
These are certain symptoms that point towards a likely ear infection. It's important to remind oneself that ear infections are fairly common among toddlers and it's nothing to worry about as long as it is treated as per the doctor's instructions
Toddler Ear Infection Symptoms