When your little one is crying, tugging at his ear and reaching out for comfort, it’s natural to want to take away his pain from an ear infection. Beyond wrapping your arms around him to keep him safe and sound, you can also provide comfort through daily strategies and natural treatments, in addition to seeking medical care, when his ears are causing him discomfort.
It is likely your pediatrician will prescribe antibiotics to treat your child’s ear infection, but you can also lessen the discomfort he is experiencing with over-the-counter pain medications. You can also comfort your child’s pain with acetaminophen and ibuprofen doses appropriate to your child’s size and age, notes the American Academy of Pediatrics. The AAP warns parents not to give children aspirin, as it can affect the brain and liver.
If you can clearly visualize the eardrum and it is intact, warm diluted herbal oils and put a few drops in your child’s ear to provide relief from the discomfort of an ear infection, recommends Dr. Maria Miller, a Florida-based pediatrician with Oviedo Pediatrics. “Use mullein oil, oil of cajuput, tea tree oil or oregano oil and dilute 1 part oil to 10 parts safflower oil and drop in the ear,” she recommends.
Provide your child with natural remedies in chewable or liquid form to minimize the pain of an ear infection. Miller suggests belladonna for a red-hot throbbing ear and chamomilla for an earache in a fussy, irritable child. Dilute the herbal remedies in tea or water, or obtain tablet or chewable forms of the herbs at a drugstore or organic market.
Investigate Food Allergies
Frequently, recurrent ear infections occur due to food allergies, according to Miller. “Often, avoiding milk, peanut butter, and orange juice -- the main culprits --can diminish, stop or relieve the infections,” she says. Take inventory of your child’s diet to find clues on how to minimize and relieve ear infections, Miller advises. “Introduce foods that have low allergy potential, such as potatoes, chicken and applesauce for three weeks, and then begin introducing one new food at a time to monitor if your child has any symptoms, including ear infections,” she suggests.