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    Ear Infections - Prevention

    You may be able to prevent your child from getting middle ear infections.

    • Don't smoke. Ear infections are more common in children who are around cigarette smoke in the home. Even fumes from tobacco smoke on your hair and clothes can affect the child.
    • Breast-feed your baby. There is some evidence that breast-feeding helps reduce the risk of ear infections, especially if they run in your family. If you bottle-feed, don't let your baby drink a bottle while he or she is lying down.
    • Wash your hands often. Hand-washing stops infection from spreading by killing germs.
    • Make sure your child receives all the recommended immunizations. For more information, see the topic Immunizations.
    • Take your child to a smaller child care center. Fewer children means less contact with bacteria and viruses. Try to limit the use of any group child care, where germs can easily spread.
    • Do not give your baby a pacifier. Try to wean your child from his or her pacifier before about 6 months of age. Babies who use pacifiers after 12 months of age are more likely to get ear infections.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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