Dr. Cindy Gellner tells parents the signs to look for to determine if the child's pain could be an ear infection.">

Jan 23, 2018 — Parents often worry whether or not their child's earache complaint requires an urgent trip to the ER. On today's Health Minute, pediatrician Dr. Cindy Gellner tells parents the signs to look for to determine if the child's pain could be an ear infection.

Interview

Announcer: The Health Minute, produced by University of Utah Health.

Interviewer: Your child has a painful earache. Parents often wonder if it's an ear infection, and should you take your child to the emergency room. Pediatrician Dr. Cindy Gellner, what do you tell concerned parents?

Dr. Gellner: An earache complaint from a child isn't something that requires emergency medical attention right that second. If your child says their ear hurts and it's only occasionally or they're just rubbing their ear, just watch for worsening symptoms. If their ear hurts and they have a hard time hearing, take them to the doctor to see if it's just wax buildup. If they say their ear hurts and it's really bad, take them to the doctor to see if it is an ear infection. If you think they do have an ear infection, keep them comfortable with pain medication, and try to get them in to be seen the next day by their pediatrician. The bottom line is an earache complaint doesn't need an ER visit. It can wait.

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