Children and otitis media

Image: Florida Institute for Innovation.

Otitis media is an inflammation of the middle ear – the most common cause of hearing loss in children. The sooner parents recognise that their child may have an ear infection or a hearing loss, the sooner they can get intervention.
Signs that your infant or toddler may be experiencing an ear infection are:
• Tugging or rubbing the ears • Irritability • Refusing to lie down • Struggling to sleep • Draining from the ears • Fever
Signs that a toddler may have a hearing loss:
• Inconsistent behaviour
• Delay in responding when spoken to
• Showing frustration
• Being over-active
• Difficulty listening to stories
• Difficulty following instructions
• Paying attention to only part of what is being said. (The first or last part)
• Turning up the television
• Not wanting to interact with others
What parents can do to reduce the risk
• Wash hands diligently • Choose smaller than larger groups when considering childcare arrangements. • Wash shared toys frequently  • Breastfeed for the first four to six months  • Bottle feed babies in an upright or leaning position
• Do not smoke near children or frequently expose them to other smokers.

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