Updated: Jan 20, 2020
Ear infections in young children are the second most common reason for a pediatrician visit and around 60-85% of children have an ear infection during the first year of life!
Why are children so susceptible to ear infections? The inner ear canals in children are smaller and more level than they are in adults. As adults our ear canals are slanted and we have gravity on our side to help drain the fluid.
Because in children the canals are horizontal, it makes it more difficult for fluid to drain from the ear canal. When the canal has slow drainage or is clogged it is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
Spinal misalignments at the upper neck can also contribute to ear infections. Because the upper neck vertebrae are so close in proximity to the ear canals, misalignments of these vertebra can put pressure on the inner ear canal and block the drainage. If blocked for long enough bacteria can grow and multiply resulting in an ear infection. Infants and children can become misaligned in this area due to trauma from birth (ie: c-section, forceps, vacuum, long labor), sleeping in odd positions, and the falls and stumbles they have while learning to sit, crawl and walk.
Antibiotics have their time and place, but it is recommended by the CDC to wait several days to allow the infection to heal itself before prescribing antibiotics.
How can you help them heal?
1.) Moist heat. Wet a wash cloth with warm water. Apply the cloth to the irritated ear down to the neck. This will increase circulation to the ear, ear canal and neck lymph system.
2.) Massage: Starting behind the ear and using light pressure, perform a small circular motion. Move down to side of the neck to the top of the shoulder. Repeat this motion and start at the front of the ear. You always want to work towards the neck because that is our lymph drainage system.
3.) Chiropractic adjustments. Ear infections respond extremely well to chiropractic care! Proper alignment of the upper neck will allow optimal drainage of the inner ear canal and lymph system, which prevents bacteria from growing and allows for proper function of the ear and vestibular system.
4.) Nursing. Nurse often and on demand. This gives the child comfort and the sucking enhances circulation of the sinuses and ear canals. Also, the breast milk provides incredible antibodies to fight the infection
5.) Colloidal Silver drops. Drop them right in to the ear! Colloidal silver has really powerful antimicrobial properties to kill the infection and also reduce inflammation