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Healthy & Safety Info
Colds & Ear Infections
If your child has started preschool or day care, you might notice she’s coming down with more colds than usual. She’s being exposed to new germs, and viruses spread quickly through a classroom when little kids cough or sneeze into the air or on their hands and touch everything around them. Toys, tables, and friends are all sources of germs. Yikes!
Now is the time to review good hygiene and hand-washing procedures with your 3-year-old. Be sure she understands that she should cough or sneeze into her elbow and she should always wash her hands after blowing her nose, coughing, sneezing, and using the bathroom and before eating. Teach her to scrub her hands while she sings the ABCs to ensure that she’s spending enough time at the sink. (Ask your child’s preschool teacher or day care provider about the hand-washing policies used while your tot is in her care.)
Where there are stuffy noses, there are often ear infections. If your child gets chronic middle ear infections (otitis media), her doctor will likely treat them with antibiotics — good for curing bacterial ear infections but not viral (which heal with time). If the infections are persistently difficult to treat or your child begins to suffer hearing loss or delayed speech, the pediatrician might recommend ear tube surgery, a common, generally outpatient procedure.
On the list of things you can do to help your kiddo avoid future infections are keeping her away from secondhand tobacco smoke, controlling any allergies and/or reflux problems, preventing respiratory infections (which lead to ear infections) by using good hygiene, and asking the doctor whether your tot’s adenoids could be partially responsible for the ear infections.
Fortunately, most kids outgrow ear infections as the inner ear structure changes. Whew!
Keyword: 36 Month Old Child Development