Ear infections are very common in children. The small proximity between a child’s ear, nose, and throat makes any kind of sinus infection, allergies, respiratory infections or similar a big risk for an ear infection. Common indications that your child may have an ear infection are a combination of tugging at the ear, difficulty hearing, drainage from the ear, fever, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Sometimes it is necessary to have your child’s ear infection treated by the family doctor, or even an urgent care doctor if their symptoms are severe. If your child’s ear infection symptoms don’t appear to be causing them serious discomfort, you can try the following simple home remedies before getting them your family practice doctors:
- Fill a sock or cloth bag with salt or rice. Warm it in the microwave until it reaches a touchable level of hot. Rest the hot bag over the ear for five to ten minutes. The heat will draw out the liquid and reduce pain and swelling. This remedy can be used as frequently as necessary.
- Garlic has antibacterial properties and is a great natural remedy for a variety of infections. To use garlic to treat an ear infection, put two to four drops of garlic oil in the ear several times a day. Garlic oil can found in capsule form in the vitamin and supplement section of most grocery stores. You can also boil fresh garlic in water for five minutes, strain out the water, wrap the garlic in a cloth, and rest it on the ear for five to ten minutes at a time, or as long as your child will allow.
- Basil has been used to treat infections and reduce pain for centuries. To use basil for an ear infection, mix a few drops of holy basil oil (found at a natural food store) with equal parts coconut oil and soak it into a cotton ball. Use the cotton ball to swab the inside of the infected ear twice a day until the symptoms go away.
- Apple cider vinegar is also a common home remedy for infections of all types. Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar with water and soak into a cotton ball. Place the cotton ball in the ear for five minutes, and then remove it and rest on the opposite side so the ingredients can drain out. Use a dry cotton ball to soak up any remaining apple cider vinigar.
- Onions are also a common household ingredient that possess antimicrobial properties. Finely chop an onion and microwave it for a minute to break down the cellular structure. When it’s done, you should see a small pool for onion juice in the bottom of the bowl. Put a few drops of the onion juice into the infected ear and then drain it out.
When to Call a Doctor
You should get your child to your family doctor or urgent care in the following circumstances:
- Your child is inconsolable, even with use of home remedies for several hours.
- Your child has severe pain, dizziness, or hearing loss.
- Your child’s fever is great than 101 degrees combined with ear infection symptoms.
- The fluid draining from your child’s ear appears to be pus or has blood in it.
- You should always trust your instincts above all. Take your child to urgent care immediately if your gut tells you something is very wrong.