While an important part of parenting, ensuring your toddler is healthy and happy at all times can be challenging. Feeding, playing, and teaching your child will help them live a healthy lifestyle, but certain conditions may still arise without any warning. Considering most children will have had one ear infection before they turn 3 years old, understanding this common condition is smart. If you are like most parents, you may believe a few common myths regarding these painful infections. By learning the truths behind these common ear infections, you can take better care of your toddler.

If It Hurts, It Is an Infection

One of the most common misconceptions parents believe is that if your child's ear hurts, it is infected. While surprising to learn, pain in the ear does not always signal an ear infection.

If your toddler is pulling on their ear or complaining that it hurts, inspect the ear carefully. In some instances, your child may have slept on their ear, causing it to bend and become irritated. Also, a simple cold can cause some drainage issues in the sinuses, which may affect the ear.

Although these issues may be uncomfortable, they do not always mean the ear is infected. Be sure to consult your pediatrician before administering any medications. You can find more information on pediatric care at a site like http://www.advocarelerchamatopeds.com.

Wind and Water Cause Ear Infections

You may have heard an elderly person say that being out in the cold air will cause an ear infection. Again, this is another myth that needs to be addressed.

Excess wind, cold air, and water are not good for your toddler's ears, but they do not cause ear infections in most cases. When your toddler's sinuses drain or fail to drain, fluid builds up inside the ear. Over time, this fluid attracts the bacteria that causes the infection.

Infections develop in the inner part of the ear, behind the eardrum. Cold air will not affect the inner ear in this manner. Water may flow through the ear, causing irritation that can lead to an infection, so it is important to dry your child's ears thoroughly after swimming or being in heavy rain.

Antibiotics Are Always Necessary

A doctor's first recommendation to treat an ear infection may be with prescription antibiotics. However, many infections will heal on their own without medication.

Most toddler-age children will benefit from antibiotic treatment if both ears are infected. If your child's infection is not severe, consider only giving them antibiotics if their symptoms do not improve after a couple of days.

Your child's age and overall health in addition to the severity of the infection will be accounted for when determining if antibiotics are necessary.

Hearing the truth behind these common myths will help you through your toddler's infection. To learn more about preventing and treating ear infections, be sure to consult your pediatrician.