How To Prevent Ear Infections In Kids
Causes of hearing impairment in children include excessive noise, ear infections, and hereditary factors. However, infections of the middle ear are the most common causes of hearing loss in children. Therefore, preventing ear infections is a good way of preventing hearing impairment in children. Use these measures to prevent such infections:
Not Smoking Your Kid's Presence
According to research, secondhand smoke increases the risk of ear infections in children. Smoking contaminates the air with unhealthy chemical particles. When a child inhales the contaminated air, it irritates the tube that connects the nose to the middle ear (the Eustachian tube). The irritation induces swelling, which leads to ear pressure imbalance, fluid retention, and infections. The complications may eventually lead to hearing loss.
If you smoke, it's best to quit for the sake of your child. If you can't quit smoking, identify a designated smoking zone and keep the child away from it. It's also best to hire a nonsmoker as a child caregiver.
Vaccinating Your Child
The viruses and bacteria that cause infections of the upper respiratory tract, such as the common cold and sinusitis, may also attack the ear. Therefore, reducing incidences of such infections may also reduce ear infections and prevent hearing loss. A good way of reducing infections, including those of the upper respiratory tract, is to vaccinate the child.
Apart from vaccinations, breastfeeding also helps your child to maintain a strong immunity and fight off infections, including those of the upper respiratory tract. As explained above, these reduce the risk of ear infections and hearing loss. The World Health Organization (WHO) encourages mothers to breastfeed their babies exclusively for the first six months and then continue breastfeeding alongside other types of feeding for two years or more.
Practicing Good Hygiene
Finally, you can also help your child to be free from ear infections by practicing good hygiene around them. For example, you need to wash your hands when handling the baby and also ensure that they don't put dirty things in their ears, nose, or mouth. That way you reduce the risk of introducing the offending bacteria or viruses into the child's body.
If your child develops an ear infection, get the infection treated as soon as possible before it causes hearing loss. In the unfortunate event that the child develops a hearing impairment, they don't have to live in silence. Improve your child's hearing by getting them appropriate hearing aids.