Childr Health Information

Otitis Media (Middle Ear Infection)

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Topic: Diseases & Conditions

This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked about Otitis Media. Feel free to ask the doctor or nurse to go over any information you do not understand.

What is Otitis Media?
Otitis Media is an infection of the middle ear (behind the eardrum). It is caused by bacteria (germs) that travel to the ear through a tube connecting the ear to the back of the throat (Eustachian tube). An ear infection may often occur when your child has a cold, an allergy, throat infection or another respiratory illness. There is no immunity to ear infections, many children have them more than once. Ear infections are not contagious, your child cannot catch an ear infection from another child.
What to watch for:
Your child may:
- have a fever
- be irritable, fussy or cry a lot
- have a poor appetite
- pull at the ear or shake his/her head
- tell you that his/her ears hurt
- have fluid draining from his/her ears
- not sleep well

How should I care for my child?
1. You should follow your doctor’s instructions so that the infection does not get worse.
2. Your child will be given a special medicine (called an antibiotic). Antibiotics help treat Otitis Media caused by bacteria. If your child has been given an antibiotic:
- Give the antibiotic exactly as directed by the doctor.
- Give ______ teaspoon/tablet/capsule ______ times a day for ______days. Give every dose. Even if your child begins to feel better. You may also need to wake your child at night to give his/her medication as ordered. Do not skip any doses or stop the medication before it is gone.
- Do not give this (or any) medicine to anyone except the child it is ordered for, even if another person has symptoms like your child.
- If you received a liquid medicine, keep it in the refrigerator unless directed otherwise.
- With liquid medicines, shake the bottle well before pouring the dose your child needs.
3. Your doctor may have prescribed drops for your child’s ear. Please use ______ drops in the ________ ear ________ times a day for ________ days.
4. Acetaminophen (Tylenol®, Panadol®, Tempra®, Liquiprin®) is given every 4 hours for the fever or pain. (________ teaspoons of Tylenol® liquid or ________ dropperfuls of Tylenol® drops or ________ chewable tablets).
5. Schedule an appointment with your doctor in ______________________.
6. Do not put anything in your child’s ears; Q-tips or any small objects can be dangerous. Use a wash cloth only to wash the outer part of the ear.

How can I help prevent my child from getting ear infections?
It is impossible to prevent all infections but avoiding the following may decrease the number of ear infections your child gets:
1. Avoid giving your baby a bottle of juice or formula in bed. Lying flat while feeding may contribute to ear infections.
2. Avoid exposure to second hand cigarette smoke.
3. Take all antibiotics as prescribed unless your doctor tells you to stop. Stopping antibiotics too sone may cause your child to get another ear infection.

PDF: Child Health Information - OTITIS MEDIA (Middle Ear Infection)

Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Corregido: 1992, 1995, 2000

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Revised: 1992, 1995, 2000


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