Understanding Ear Infection -- Prevention

Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on March 23, 2019

How Can I Prevent an Ear Infection?

Because formula-fed babies are more likely to get ear infections, it is better to breast feed your infant for the first six to 12 months of life, if possible, to prevent ear infections.

Remove as many environmental pollutants from your home as you can, including:

  • Dust
  • Cleaning fluid and solvents
  • Tobacco smoke

Also, reduce yours or your child's exposure to people with colds, and control allergies. Taking steps to prevent colds and flu as well as other illnesses can prevent some, but not all, ear infections. Here are some important steps to take:

  • Be sure everyone in your household, including your children receive the proper vaccines when they are supposed to be given. That includes both flu and pneumococcal vaccines.
  • Make hand washing a habit that becomes part of the family's normal routine.
  • If possible, avoid group care for children, especially during cold and flu season.


WebMD Medical Reference


American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery.
Academy of American Family Physicians.
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

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