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What’s The Catch: Practical Advice For Treating Children’s Ear And Throat Infections:

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

The perfect time of year for outdoor sports also may mean the perfect way for your family to catch cold. And for many children that means ear and throat infections. But short of running to the emergency room for this typical aches and pains, professionals offer the following advice for soothing their discomfort (and yours)

Ear Infections: The easiest way to alleviate this painful ache is by offering you child (a children’s dose) of ibuprofen or something (again for children) with codeine in it, if you have some handy; at least until you can get your child to the doctor (in the next day or two).

Experts remind parents that ear infections are bacterial in nature and that there are new recommendations for children older than two.

Children with a sore ear (the night before) who exhibit only a little redness in the ear and are not having lots of pain are best not treated, say doctors. However, you may want to ask your child’s physician for a prescription for antibiotics (to have handy) if in fact, it doesn’t heal, but continues or gets (a bit) worse. And they add that you should have your child reexamined in ten days.

If during the course of the next few days (after the initial doctors visit) you child begins to experience more severe discomfort and pain, have the prescription immediately filled.

For children with recurrent ear infection (usually between 3 and 5 in a short period of time), treatment will likely require a ventilating tube. The need for this type of treatment is made on a case-by-case basis, and time of year is also taken into consideration.

Throat Infections: Professionals point out that most throat infections, (a good 80% of them), are viral. The other 20% are generally strep. And, they add that strep is the only treatable throat infection for which penicillin is prescribed.

Throat infections are diagnosed via throat cultures, which usually yield results within 24 hours. This time frame for waiting say doctors may seem like eons to you and your child, but actually poses no harm and is beneficial to deciding on the proper course of treatment, potentially reducing antibiotic use.

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