It’s cold and flu season is here and I’m already hearing that familiar refrain in my office: “I wanted to bring him in just to make sure he didn’t have an ear infection.” Ah yes, the dreaded ear infection.
Ear infections are no fun if you’re an adult, and many of us remember the pain we experienced when we had one as a child. As a result Ear pain is one of the most common concerns that parents have. If you had an ear infection as a child you remember how painful and uncomfortable it was. Parents often bring their children in to be checked for an ear infection if they’re waking at night, pulling on their ears, coughing, having a fever or actually complaining of ear pain.
The good news is that the vast majority of the time, kids and babies who are pulling on their ears but who are not otherwise sick, do not have an infection. This is usually true even if the child has recently had a cold.
But when kids do get an ear infection, it hurts! So what are parents supposed to do if they suspect their child has an ear infection? It’s time to talk about all things ear infections with resident ear nose and throat doctor, Dr. Matthew Brigger.
What is an ear infection actually?
There are lots of issues that can affect the ears, especially when a child has a cold, flu or other illness. Many of these illnesses can mimic the symptoms of an ear infection, which leaves many parents frustrated when their child is sick, experiencing ear pain and a doctor, like myself or Dr. Brigger, check out their child’s ears and discovers no signs of an infection.
Ear infections are infections similar to a pimple or any other cut or abrasion that gets infected. Dr. Brigger explains that in a true ear infection, “bacteria grows behind the eardrum leading to a collection of pus.” Pus is a thick fluid consisting of dead white blood cells that your immune system sends to fight the infection. Your ear structure is actually pretty small, and there’s no place for that accumulated pus to go, which causes the “pressure, pain and temporary hearing loss” Dr. Brigger says we’re all familiar with.
With that said, there’s another kind of “ear infection,” one that isn’t caused by bacteria and pus. If an ear infection is caused by a virus there can be inflammation and eardrum pain or have clear fluid behind the eardrum, but the key is the lack of pus behind the eardrum.
Both types of ear infections can cause similar symptoms. Usually for your doctor to consider an ear infection as a differential diagnosis, we look for signs that the child is sick or is suffering from allergies (more on that later). Generally speaking, if your child is sick and experience the following symptoms, they may have an ear infection:
- Ear pain, especially when lying down (in babies and non-verbal children this can include increased irritability, crying or fussiness);
- Tugging or pulling at an ear
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty hearing or responding to sounds
- Loss of balance
- Fever of 100 F (38 C) or higher
- Drainage of fluid from the ear
Why do kids get ear infections?
We most often see ear infections in kids who are already sick with colds. As an adult, you likely remember how much an ear infection hurt as a child, but you probably haven’t had one as an adult. There’s actually a really good reason for both of these things.
Dr. Brigger explains this has to do with the structure of our ears as we mature. “The space behind the eardrum, also known as the middle ear, is filled with air which comes from the nose. The air is delivered through a small internal connection known as the Eustachian tube. By having air in the middle ear, our eardrum can vibrate properly.” That’s how we hear. How our ears developed this way is actually ingenious evolutionarily, but it also leaves them vulnerable to infections.
This ingenious bit of evolution can go haywire when the Eustachian tube is closed off by congestion during a cold, or allergies. “When the Eustachian tube closes off, the ear can fill with fluid which then becomes infected. Due to the small size and immature nature of the Eustachian tube in children, they are more likely to get ear infections than adults.”
Unfortunately for children, it can be normal for fluid to persist in the middle ear after an infection or be present during a cold, but this is “non-infected ear fluid which may remain [behind the ear drum] up to several months”.
How are ear infections treated?
Our treatment of ear infections has evolved tremendously. If you had an ear infection as a child in the 70s, 80s or 90s you likely remember being prescribed a liquid antibiotic that tasted like bananas. If your child has had an ear infection in the past few years, you’ve likely noticed that antibiotics for ear infections are no longer our first line of defense.
“Most ear infections are relatively minor and some do not even require antibiotics,” Dr. Brigger says. This is because not all ear infections are caused by bacteria, some are caused by viruses. If the infection is caused by a virus, antibiotics will not help the infection resolve. A bacterial ear infection (the kind we discussed above) is caused when the pus collection causes bulging of the eardrum, as well as signs of inflammation like pain and fever.
Our current guidelines allow for pain control for 24-48 hours prior to starting antibiotics in children over 2 years of age, who do not have a history of ear problems and who are otherwise well. “In general, antibiotics will lead to resolution of [an] acute [bacterial] infection relatively quickly,” Dr. Brigger says, but he cautions the correct antibiotic needs to be used. In recent years, increasingly more people have experimented with alternative antibiotics or even using fish antibiotics for human dosage, but this is not advisable for infants.
What are the complications of ear infections?
While most ear infections are benign and will resolve on their own, some ear infections can result in complications or can reoccur multiple times. When that happens it’s usually when your pediatrician will call-in an ear nose and throat specialist like Dr. Brigger.
“Untreated ear infections can lead to rupture and scarring of the eardrum. Occasionally, repeated ear infections can lead to permanent hearing loss,” Dr. Brigger cautions. But that’s not all, “in rare instances, ear infections can lead to more serious bacterial infections, including infection of the skull bones or the brain. Rarely ear infections can cause damage to the nerve that controls facial movement.” Those are pretty big, but rare, risks. Therefore, if your child is still having pain or physical signs of an ear infection 24-48 hours after diagnosis, it’s good to follow-up with your pediatrician and see if treatment with antibiotics would be beneficial.
When does a child need ear tubes? (And really, what are ear tubes?)
Some kids have dysfunction of their Eustachian tubes that causes increased pressure in the middle ear even when they aren’t sick with a cold. That can also lead to an infection and considerable pain. So when should parents consider ear tubes for children with recurrent ear infections?
“Ear tubes should be considered when a child has frequent ear infections. In general, when children have 3 infections in 6 months or 4 infections in a year, ear tubes may be indicated,” Dr. Brigger says. “Ear tubes are also known as pressure equalization tubes and are placed through a surgical procedure that creates a hole in the eardrum to allow fluid to drain but more importantly allows the space behind the eardrum to fill with air and equalize the pressure on both sides of the eardrum. Ear tubes are small approximately 1mm rings with flanges that hold the ring in the eardrum. Ear tubes generally last approximately 8-10 months and then fall out on their own at which point the eardrum generally heals. The small size of the ear tube still allows the eardrum to vibrate and allow normal hearing.”
While having ear tubes placed is considered a surgery, Dr. Brigger says recovery is usually uncomplicated. “Recovery from surgery is generally quite easy with most children resuming their normal routines the following day. Ear tubes do not prevent children from swimming as earplugs are no longer recommended when in the water.”
So in a nutshell, if you are worried about your child’s ears, have him/her checked. Follow your doctor’s advice and if antibiotics are prescribed, finish the entire prescription. If your child is getting frequent ear infections, a referral to the Ear, Nose and Throat doctor may be needed.
Author: Dr. Jaime Friedman. A pediatrician in San Diego, CA.
Originally posted at https://thescientificparent.org/ear-infections-antibiotics-virus-bacteria/
What Are The Best Colors For Family Pictures Outside?
Picture this: It’s a bright summer day, you’re wearing your best clothes, and your family has gathered together outside for some pictures. Now, what color is best to wear?
This post is meant to give you an idea of the best colors for family pictures outside. It can be tricky trying to figure out what colors will best show the best family pictures outside. Because there are so many different colors, it can be difficult to find out what will best show off your best features.
This is a hard question because every person has his or her best color for photos, which means that everyone should come up with their best colors for pictures outside.
Best colors for outside family pictures.
A color scheme for family photos that works in any season is navy, cream, and tan, which are timeless and work well in any weather. The cream and navy colors go well with the spring pastels and bright greens. They also look good with the green grass and trees in a park.
When it comes to color schemes, most of them have one or two bright colors mixed with one or two “neutral” colors. The outfit’s main color is coral. Navy, gray, white, and other neutral colors help to ground and balance the bright coral in this outfit. They also help to make the coral look less bright.
Wine, cream, and gold
If you want to take a holiday family picture, this color scheme will work well. When we think about holiday family photos, the colors red and green are often the first things that come to mind. For pictures of Christmas, go to the site. However, if you do plan to use them, a wine, cream, and gold color scheme will put you right in the Christmas spirit.
Pink, tan, and cream
The colors that people like the most are pink, cream, and tan. Photos of the family on the beach are good for. Here’s what you should wear on a trip with your family: for It is very simple and monochromatic. The soft, pale pink color of this family set is almost like a neutral. There are a lot of shades of tan and cream.
It’s a good idea to use peach, blue, and denim in your family photos in the springtime. Peach goes well with the pastel-colored flowers that bloom in Northeast Ohio in the spring. As a neutral, jeans keep the outfit from becoming too bright with the new spring colors.
This blue, white, red, and blue color scheme feels right for a Fourth of July family picture. Because red is so attention-grabbing, it can be hard to work within photos because of this. I think it’s great for making eye-catching family portraits. If you want to use red in your color scheme, think about where your meeting will be. It would be best if the backdrop was neutral-colored, like at the beach or in city downtown. This color scheme is why even though there is a lot of greenery, your picture might have a Christmas feel.
Things to consider when picking the best color of clothes for family photos
As soon as you figure out which colors are best for the season, narrow them down to just a few based on where the shoot is taking place.
When it comes to urban themes, bright colors work well, but they don’t look good in a field or with trees and grass around them.
In the same way, don’t use pale pastels when you’re in front of a light background, such as the wall of a building or structure. This goes for dark backgrounds, too.
The colors of your home:
Look at the colors in the place where the photos will be shown. If all you see are muted and soft colors, there’s no need to be bold with your clothes. There is no doubt that the opposite is true, too.
The skin tone:
They look best with warm colors like brown and yellow and warm shades of red and orange and brown and yellow and orange and reddish-purple and reddish-purple and cream.
If you want to look good, don’t wear jewel tones or icy shades. Make sure you don’t wear orange and red near your skin.
Top tips to get the colors right for family pictures!
A color that doesn’t match one of your family members’ skin tones but you still want to stay in your chosen palette? Choose a top and pair it with a bottom from your chosen palette.
Consider looking at store displays for ideas. Typically, the windows show off the season’s most fashionable clothes, as well as the best colors in the clothes.
In order to add a little color to your neutral palette, have one member of the family wear a brighter shade, or even a different shade.
It’s important not to go overboard with your desire to add color.
With different textures and accessories, like belts and scarves, you can make the look even more interesting.
Instead of matching, try to add something to each other. This isn’t just true for colors, but also for different styles of clothes. So, if most of you are wearing jeans, add a dress or two to make things even.
As parents, it is important to choose clothes that are not only in the right colors but also the most comfortable. So you won’t have to deal with kids who are fidgety and angry when they want to undress.
When you are choosing the best colors for family pictures outside, it is best to look at what other people are wearing in the photographs. You do not want your group to look bland or have an entirely different color scheme from everyone else in the photos. This could cause confusion over who belongs with whom.
If you have a hard time picking the best colors for family pictures outside, maybe even the best colors for family photos in general take a look at the best color combinations for group photos.
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5 Best Probiotics For Kids – Buying And Health Guide
Probiotics are live microorganisms (bacteria and yeast) that benefit your digestive system. Researchers aren’t sure how they function, but research suggests that they may aid in a variety of health issues, including stomach problems, skin conditions, allergies, oral health difficulties, immune support, and more. Truvani, Klaire Labs, and Mary Ruth’s Liquid Probiotic are among the best probiotics.
Are probiotics okay to use?
Probiotic supplements are generally considered safe. The FDA has certain rules for some, while a third-party organization performs quality testing on others. The majority of people will not experience any adverse effects from consuming a probiotic, however, if your youngster does, they are usually minor and transient, such as bloating or mild digestive discomfort.
Adding a probiotic to your diet is one of the most natural, efficient, and safest methods to improve your family’s digestive health and immunity. And what’s better, probiotics are manufactured specifically for children! But how do you decide which one is best for your little ones?
The 5 best probiotic supplements for kids
1. Children’s Probiotic and Pre & Probiotic from Llama Naturals
This is the only probiotic on my list that includes prebiotics! It’s also 100 percent organic and contains real fruit. There are no added sugars, sweeteners, waxes, acids, food coloring, or gelatin in it. They’re plant-based with 4 billion colony-forming units and vegan. The size is perfect for kids 5 years and older, and the 2 oz. size is great for those over 5 years of age.
2. Garden of Life Raw Probiotics
It is a supplement made from fermented bacteria .Preschool ABCs Organic, vegan form is a powder that may be used to make smoothies more nutritious. This variation has a subtle banana flavor and is available in powder form, making it easy to incorporate into a breakfast smoothie. It’s also gluten-free, certified organic, and contains no sugar.
It’s gluten-free, lactose-free, and vegan friendly. This product comes in the form of a powder that may be mixed with water, milk, juice, or even food. It’s recommended to keep it refrigerated if possible.
3. Klaire Labs
Lactobacillus reuteri NCHH-3112, also known as Reuterin, is a unique probiotic that’s been shown to help prevent cavities. It’s available as a liquid and powder and can be added directly to milk or baby food. It’s hypoallergenic, low in calories, gluten-free, and non-GMO.
A 2012 study published in the “Journal of Clinical Nursing” found that, when schoolchildren took a L-reuteri preparation for eight weeks, their dental health improved dramatically. A 2014 study published in “The Scientific World Journal” confirmed the findings. Researchers concluded that taking L. reuteri.
This vitamin might be a wonderful addition to your baby’s formula-fed diet. The choice is vegan, including vitamins B and D as well as iron, making it a supercharged multi-vitamin for your child. This option is in powder form and may be mixed into food or drinks. It’s flavored to taste like orange fruit punch for a slightly sweet flavor, but there are no artificial chemicals, colors, or sugars added to it. 5 billion colonies forming units per serving.
4. Mary Ruth’s Liquid Probiotic
It’s a liquid best probiotic that’s also 100 percent Organic, Raw, Non-GMO, Paleo, Wheat Free, and Corn Free, Ketogenic, Gluten-Free,. Bariatric and Celiacfriendly It’s shelf-stable and flavorless, so it’ll last for a long time and can be used in almost any recipe. It’s a great option for those who don’t like taking pills. 5 billion colony-forming units per serving.
This supplement is a great choice if you or your child is lactose intolerant or has an allergy to cow’s milk, as this powder contains no dairy
The capsules are simple to consume. The contents of the capsules may be readily blended into food or beverages for children. With a unique blend of 15 probiotic strains, this little work might pay off big time. This probiotic is GMO-free and does not contain any additional chemicals.
Organic Pre & Probiotic Powder for Kids by Preschool ABCs
This is the only probiotic on my list that also includes prebiotics! It’s also 100 percent organic and made with real fruit. There are no added sugars, sweeteners, waxes, acids, food colorings, or gelatin in it. They’re plant-based and vegan as well as GMO-free.
Rainbow Light Probiolicious Gummies
These delicious cranberry-flavored gummies are free of milk, soy, eggs, fish, wheat, gluten, shellfish, and lactose and contain no artificial flavors or colors. The gel in this supplement is animal-based; therefore it’s not suitable for vegans. 1 gummy contains 500 million CFUs and combines both probiotics and prebiotics.
This supplement was formulated to help those with lactose intolerance, as the digestible carbohydrate in it helps to break down lactose and ease its digestion. Best used daily, this supplement is a great way for adults or kids that have trouble keeping track of pills to get their necessary 5+ strains
Consider giving your child probiotics in addition to his or her regular diet. Similar health advantages for adults — from aiding the development of healthy digestive bacteria to strengthening their immune system — may be gained by giving children probiotics. However, before you start adding this to your child’s diet, talk to their doctor about whether probiotics are right for them. Use the following list of seven probiotics for youngsters as a guide once you’ve gotten the green light to begin supplementation.
Do I need to refrigerate my probiotics?
Probiotics should be stored in an area that is not exposed to direct sunlight. If you have a probiotic pill, it can be stored anywhere because it does not require special storage conditions. Probiotic liquids however will need to be refrigerated if they are kept for any period of time longer than 5 or 6 days.
How can you tell if probiotics should be kept in the refrigerator?
Typically, they should. The labels on the packaging of all probiotics tell us where we can store them and how long we can expect them to be viable outside that range (the usual shelf life). Usually, this is 5 days to 2 weeks – but keep in mind that “best by” or “expiration date” doesn’t really apply to probiotics. They are more akin to food, not medication. If the product gets old but isn’t bad, it’s still good for you. When in doubt though, give it 5 days and see what happens!
Are there any dangers of refrigerating probiotics?
Probiotics are not sterile products. In fact, they’re filled with living microorganisms! More specifically, there’s a whole colony of bacteria. Another step to examine if you should chill your probiotics is by thinking about how you initially purchased them.
Probiotics that need to be kept cold are generally located in the refrigerator section of the shop or pharmacy, while probiotics that can be stored at room temperature are more likely to be found in the non-refrigerated sections.
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