Recently, my son was battling your typical winter cold. He seemed to be on the mend. So, we took him to church, with just a little bit of a residual runny nose. About halfway through the services, he became a crazy child. It was bizzaro! He was crying, upset, and restless. We left early not sure what was going on.
That night was horrible. He literally did not sleep most of the night. He may have gotten in 3 hours total, and we were baffled by what it could be! Luckily, he gave us one clue. He kept saying, “Ear!” “Ear!” We had our doubts since we had just been into the doctor about 4 days earlier for his well visit. Since he had a cold, of course the doctor looked in his ears and said they looked great. But, his behavior was so atypical that night, so I thought I better make an appointment.
The next afternoon, we went in and discovered he had a double ear infection! It was so sad. The doctor thought that maybe his ear drum had burst at some point, leaking fluid into his ear canal. As the fluid sat there, it created another infection in the outer ear, or ear canal. Antibiotics were prescribed for both the inner and outer part of his ear. He quickly recovered.
This week the CDC stated that they have found that Kids’ ear infections have declined by 30% in the past 15 years. While they are unsure of the reasons for this, their ideas include more breastfeeding moms, less smoking parents, and vaccinations. While we may not know exactly what is causing this trend, it is definitely a good thing!
Ear infections can be one of the hardest parts of being a parent. You never know when to take them in and when not to. Obviously, if your baby is grabbing at his ear, and saying ear, like mine was, then there is a pretty good chance of infection. However, some ear infections can be more subtle. Sometimes they come with a fever and sometimes they don’t. Often they are accompanied by a cold, but this isn’t 100% of the time either. If you are suspicious of an ear infection, don’t wait too long. It never hurts to pick up the phone and call your doctor. They will advise you on what is best for your child.
My rule of thumb though is, if we have a sleepless night, I’m calling a doctor!