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Why does my child need ear tubes?

Many, many kids between the ages of six months and two years get middle ear infections (otitis media). These infections are often treated with antibiotics, but if your child has repeated infections or starts to have hearing, speech, or developmental delays due to persistent fluid behind the eardrum, your pediatrician may recommend ear tube surgery. I recently read that two million tubes are placed in children in the U.S. every year, and that figure doesn’t shock me. It’s an extremely common procedure. Placing small “tympanostomy tubes” in the eardrums helps equalize the pressure between the middle ear and the outer ear, which allows fluid or pus to drain out and relieves pressure and pain. While the tubes have to be inserted under general anesthesia, the whole process only takes about ten to fifteen minutes, and there’s a good chance that your child will recover easily and leave the hospital in just a few hours.

From The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents

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The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents

What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do! "Moms and dads need expert guidelines, especially when it comes to their kids' health. This book reveals the inside strategies I use myself-I'm a parent,...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.