Today, I share 6 home remedies for ear infections. These are the remedies we rely on to ease pain and discomfort in those little tiny ears.
Ear infections and children frequently are associated with each other. Since most cases clear up on their own, home remedies are what we rely on.
Allergies and infections are the most common causes of ear pain.
Mucous membrane inflammatory responses frequently cause fluid retention and middle ear pain in babies and young children.
If your child is susceptible to allergies, they should avoid dairy, sugar, and any other allergens known to cause an issue.
What Are The Signs A Child Has An Ear Infection?
While each child is different, these are the most common signs you’re dealing with an ear infection:
- Ear pulling
- Fever for 1-2 days
- Trouble sleeping
- Reduced appetite
Children also tend to respond similarly each time they have an ear ache.
What Can Mimic Ear Infections In Children?
Even though ear infections are incredibly common in children, consider the possibility that it may be something else.
Conditions that mimic ear infections:
- Teething – especially toddler molars
- Swimmer’s ear – water gets stuck in the ear and causes pain. If you pull the ear back and the pain gets worse, it’s swimmer’s ear. Treat this with alcohol/glycerin drops.
- Sore throat
- Wax build up – check for this with a home otoscope
- Foreign body (aka crayon tip) – also check for this with a home otoscope
How Do You Know What To Do?
The only way to definitely tell for sure what you’re dealing with is to look in the little ears yourself.
Invest in a home otoscope. I can’t say this enough.
They’re very easy to use and most sets come with an instruction booklet/picture guide.
YouTube has wonderful videos for easy tutorials.
5 Home Remedies for Ear Infections in Children
1. St. John’s Wort infused oil drops
St. John’s Wort may just be one of my all-time herbs for home remedies. It is a natural antimicrobial, analgesic (pain reliever), anti-inflammatory, and anti-spasmodic.
When used topically via an infused oil, St. John’s Wort rapidly soothes pain and inflammation from ear infections. A properly made oil can relieve pain in around 15 minutes.
2. Garlic-infused oil drops
A kitchen favorite and something I always have on hand, garlic comes in as a superstar for bacterial infections of all kinds – from ear infections to group b strep in pregnancy.
Garlic is a natural decongestant, antimicrobial, and immune system stimulator.
Ear drops made with garlic-infused oil are very effective at treating both bacterial and viral ear infections.
3. Essential Oils
Essential oils can be highly effective at treating ear pain in association with childhood ear infections.
Black pepper essential oil or diluted wintergreen essential oil added to St. John’s Wort is a potent formula for the home apothecary.
4. Warm cloth
With any kind of pain, warm moist heat often provides welcomed relief. Ear infections are no different. Soak a soft wash cloth in warm water, wring it out and apply the cloth to the cheek and ear that’s causing pain. Rewarm the cloth as needed for comfort.
Do not use a heating pad on a child due to risk of burns.
5. Children’s Motrin
Some parents are in the camp of no pharmaceuticals unless absolutely necessary and some parents are in the camp of wanting their child to be comfortable ASAP regardless of the means.
I’m in the middle here. I believe that pain control and comfort are important.
We don’t use antibiotics or anti-inflammatories unless it’s a last resort but we do use Motrin (ibuprofen) where indicated.
This is by far the most boring home remedy, but it’s just as important. Do whatever you can to have them slow down and relax.
The immune system can’t function as efficiently as it needs to unless they take it easy for a little bit.
If you have to use screen time, do it.
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