Natural Remedies for Ear Infections and Ear Aches in Babies and Kids
Ear infections and aches are one of the most common causes for pediatric doctor visits. But there are many things you can do at home to prevent and decrease the occurrence of ear pain and infections in babies and kids.
Children’s Eustachian tubes (ear canals) are not slanted down like those of adults. Their ear canals run straight across which makes it difficult for gravity to move the fluid from their lymph nodes and ear to the throat to drain.
The American Academy of Pediatrics updated their guidelines in 2013 for treating ear infections. Their “watch and wait” approach, recommends fewer medical interventions. Many ear infections clear by themselves within a few days and even quicker with these simple home remedies. There are things you can do at home during this “watch and wait” period. Always see your health care professional if you become concerned about your child’s symptoms.
To help manage excess fluid and pain:
- Massage is a wonderful way to connect with your child and will help move fluid out of the lymph nodes and ears to reduce ear infections. Locate two acupressure points. The first is right behind your child’s ear lobe. The second one is right in front of the ear canal. Gently knead these points for 15-30 seconds. Next feel where the jaw, neck and ear meet. Place your thumb there and stoke downward until you reach the collar bone. This encourages lymph drainage with will help move excess fluid out of the ear. Do this for 30-60 seconds.
Using some lotion, olive, coconut or almond oil for this last step is helpful. Adding 1 drop of lavender, lemon, chamomile or helichrysum essential oil to 1 tablespoon of oil can be helpful for calming the inflammation.
- Apply moist heat. Heat will help with increasing circulation. Place a warm washcloth over the affected ear and side of neck to encourage drainage.
- For pain try applying warm olive oil in a dropper or cotton ball. The oil needs to go inside the ear canal. Always test a drop of the oil on your wrist before applying to your child ear to make sure it’s not too hot. If you want to go a step beyond warm olive oil, look for Garlic and Mullein Ear Drops in your natural food store supplement section. The garlic is antimicrobial and mullein is an herb that helps with the inflammation. The drops go directly in the ear 4 times a day for several days. It is helpful to treat for a few days after your child’s symptoms disappear.
Find an acupuncturist that is skilled at treating babies and kids. We don’t have to use needles! Your acupuncturist can teach you some simple massage techniques and acupressure points that are helpful for treating ear infections and boosting your child’s immunity. Your acupuncturist can also review your child’s diet and consider herbal therapy or supplementation that would be helpful for boosting immunity. It is important to look deeper and find professional help especially if your child has chronic ear infections or more than 5 colds a year. Give the gift of good health to your child, it will last a lifetime.