Ear Infections in Children

Child's otolaryngologist doing ear examination

Ear infections affect most people at some point in their life, with children most susceptible. Five out of every six children experience an ear infection by age three. In fact, ear infections are the No. 1 reason parents bring their children to the doctor. Being able to determine when your child is fighting an ear infection is key to getting him or her treatment immediately.



The symptoms of an ear infection can be hard to diagnose, especially with a younger child. To make things even more difficult, symptoms can vary depending on the type of ear infection your child is experiencing. However, fever, fluid drainage, difficulty hearing, trouble sleeping and pulling at the ear are all common symptoms of an ear infection.



Typically, an ear infection is caused by bacteria. If your child has suffered from a sore throat, cold or respiratory infection, they run the risk of developing an ear infection. In the case of a bacterial upper respiratory infection, the bacteria can spread to the ear, while a viral respiratory infection can cause bacteria to move into the ear as a secondary infection, causing fluid buildup in the eardrum.



In most cases, a doctor will prescribe an antibiotic that will be taken for about a week. If your child’s pain is overwhelming, a doctor may also suggest over-the-counter pain medication. If an antibiotic is prescribed, be sure your child takes the medication for the full time recommended to ensure the infection is fully treated.


Seeking medical care is imperative if you think your child may have an ear infection. Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care is not only open after hours and on weekends, but it is also designed exclusively to meet the needs of children. Check out the website to find the Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care location nearest you.