Ear Infections in Children – Boys Town Ear, Nose & Throat Institute

Hi, I’m Dr. Rodney Lusk, Director of the Boys Town Ear, Nose and Throat institute. Did you know that ear infections are the
most common reason that parents bring their child to a doctor. There are two general reasons for
increased infections in children. The first is an immature immune system and the second is poor eustachian tube
function. Newborns have circulating antibodies from their mothers. These antibodies circulate for six
months. After six months your child will need to make antibodies
on their own if your child has more exposure to
viruses, like in daycare, he or she may be at
greater risk for infections. Secondly, air has to get into the middle
here through the eustachian tube, which connects to the middle ear from
the back part of the nose. The eustachian tube is short, horizontal, and floppy in infants and children.
Consequently it does not work well. As the base of the
skull grows eustachian tube function improves which
is one of the reasons why children outgrow their problems. These are a few of the things you
can do to decrease ear infections. Limit your child’s exposure to colds
during the first two years of his life, breast-feed your baby during the first
six to 12 months of life, if bottle feeding, hold your child at a 45
degree angle, if your child spits up frequently this
may be a significant sign of reflux and it should be treated, limit
second hand smoke. Ear infections can occur in any season
but are more frequent during the winter. The severity of the symptoms may vary
with every child. If you have any concerns about your child’s hearing or frequency of infections please contact
your primary care provider. For more information and videos on
pediatric ear, nose and throat problems, please visit boystownent.org

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