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When should I call my doctor if my child has an ear infection?

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Call your doctor if any of these things are happening with your child:

Fever -- Keep a watchful eye for high temperatures. Take action if:

Strong pain -- Your child is really hurting and pain medicines such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen are not helping.

Discharge -- Pus or blood is leaking from your child's ear.

  • Your child is younger than 3 months and shows a fever of 100.4 F or more
  • It's above 104 F for any child at any time
  • A fever lasts more than a day in a toddler younger than 2
  • It lasts more than three days in kids 2 and older

From: Tips to Prevent Ear Infections WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: “Ear Infections in Children.”

Mayo Clinic: “Ear infection (middle ear).”

CDC: “Ear Infection.”

FamilyDoctor.org: “Ear Infections.”

American Osteopathic Association: “Preventing and Treating Middle Ear Infections.”

American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery: “Ear Infection and Hearing Loss.”

Healthy Children.org: “When to Call the Pediatrician: Fever.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on August 5, 2018

SOURCES:

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: “Ear Infections in Children.”

Mayo Clinic: “Ear infection (middle ear).”

CDC: “Ear Infection.”

FamilyDoctor.org: “Ear Infections.”

American Osteopathic Association: “Preventing and Treating Middle Ear Infections.”

American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery: “Ear Infection and Hearing Loss.”

Healthy Children.org: “When to Call the Pediatrician: Fever.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on August 5, 2018

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Should I go to the doctor for an ear infection as an adult?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.