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All About Ear Infections

What You Can Do to Prevent Ear Infections:

  • Breast-feed your baby for at least six months. Infants who are exclusively formula-fed for the first six months have a 70 percent greater risk of ear infections. If you must bottle-feed, hold your baby's head above stomach level to help keep the eustachian tubes from getting blocked.
  • Avoid group daycare during your child's first year, if possible. A recent Journal of Pediatrics study found that around 65 percent of babies in daycare suffered at least six respiratory infections in their first year, compared with only 29 percent of babies who were cared for at home.
  • Avoid smoke-filled environments. Children who inhale second-hand smoke are at a higher risk for ear infections.

What to Do If Your Child Does Get an Ear Infection:

  • Don't feed your infant while he or she is lying down (this increases ear pressure and pain).
  • Give your child over-the-counter acetaminophen (not aspirin) to help diminish her discomfort.
  • Try placing several warm (not hot!) drops of mullin or garlic oil -- both are natural antibiotics -- in your child's ear (but check with your pediatrician before placing anything in your child's ear).
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