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Ear Infections: When Should you see a Pediatrician?

If you’re like most parents, you’ve worried about your baby and ear infections. Infections of the middle ear are common among infants. Medically, ear infections are called otitis media. During an ear infection, the middle ear becomes inflamed and painful. Ear infections are usually caused by a backup of fluid in the ear that becomes infected.

Ear infections can be pretty miserable for your little one. They may become very irritable or cry more than normal. There might be a low fever, and your child might tug or pull at their ears.

The good news is that most ear infections clear up on their own in a few days. You can use an over-the-counter pain medicine like ibuprofen to make your child more comfortable. However, you should see a pediatrician if your child has a fever over 102, is less than six months old, has drainage from the ear, or shows symptoms for longer than 48 hours. The doctor will usually prescribe antibiotics.

Reviewed by Dr. Kristie Rivers, November 2018

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