Ear problems

A baby's ears need to be treated with care


Ear infections, which can result in earache are common in babies and toddlers. They often follow a cold and can sometimes cause a temperature. A child may pull at their ear, but babies often cannot tell where their pain is coming from, so they just cry and seem generally uncomfortable.

Babies have some natural protection against infections in the first few weeks - this is boosted by breastfeeding. In babies and toddlers, bacteria pass from the nose to the ears more easily.

Ear infections can be painful and your child may just need extra cuddles and painkillers from the Pharmacist. Your child may have swollen glands in their neck - this is the body's way of fighting infection.

Children who live in households where people smoke or who have a lot of contact with other children, like those who go to nursery, are more likely to get ear infections.

See the Health Visitor's tips about safely cleaning your baby's ears, as they can be easily damaged.

Source: DoH Birth to five edition 2009.