- Wash your hands often and have your children do so too. You can clean your hands with soap and water or with special gel that kills germs. This is called an "antibacterial" gel.
- Check with your child's day care. Ask how often they clean the toys. Also ask if they remind kids to wash their hands often.
- Avoid smoke. And don't let your child be around people who smoke.
- Breastfeed your baby rather than giving a bottle.
- Get a flu shot each year. Other members of your family should get one too.
- Don't give your baby a pacifier (binky).
- Ask a doctor about possible allergies.
A Answers (3)
Intermountain Healthcare answeredTo help prevent ear infections:
Ear infections can be prevented by taking the following steps:
- Smoking avoidance: Ear infections are more common in children who are around cigarette smoke in the home. Even fumes from tobacco smoke on hair and clothes can affect the child.
- Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding a baby helps improve resistance to infection and immunity. Also, breastfeed the baby in an upright position to prevent the possibility of infection.
- Cleanliness: Washing the hands often helps stop infection from spreading by killing germs.
- Immunization: Healthcare professionals recommend immunizing a child according to standards set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A doctor can review the immunizations recommended for a child with the parent. Current immunizations do not specifically prevent ear infections. However, they can prevent illnesses, such as influenza (flu) that often lead to ear infections. Having the child immunized with Prevnar® vaccine may help reduce the risk of ear infection. Prevnar® is a vaccine that protects infants and young children against pneumococcal disease (Streptococcus pneumoniae a major cause of pneumonia). According to one study, doctor visits by those who were diagnosed as having chronic ear infections and who took Prevnar® dropped about 20%, and there was a similar 20% reduction in the number of children who needed tube implants to fight the infections, and overall ear infections were reduced by 9%.
- Other: Weaning a child from his or her pacifier on or before six months of age may help prevent ear infections; babies who use pacifiers after 12 months of age are more likely to develop ear infections.
You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.
To help prevent ear infections in yourself or your child:
- Avoid smoking or exposure to second hand smoke and do not expose children to second hand smoke
- Avoid exposure to air pollution
- Keep you and your child up to date with recommended immunizations
- Breastfeed your baby for 12 months or more if possible
- Bottle feed your baby in the upright position