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What causes red ears in children?

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Quick Answer

Red ears in children are almost always caused by an ear infection. Prevention by protecting against colds and allergies and painkillers to help with the discomfort of an existing infection are the best ways to handle ear infections, according to WebMD.

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Full Answer

When a young child catches a cold, she can also develop an ear infection, according to WebMD. This can be due to various factors such as an immature immune system or ears that don't drain as well as adult ears. Ear infections can also be caused by frequent swimming or trauma to the ear, such as an injury caused by incorrectly using an ear bud, according to WebMD.

Ear infections can be detected by examining the ear with an otoscope. Infected ears appear red and swollen and sometimes have fluid oozing out of them, if the ear drum has burst due to pressure from the accumulated fluid, according to WebMD. Other symptoms include ear pain, dizziness, a blocked nose and fever. Babies may also refuse to feed as the pressure in the ear makes swallowing painful. Antibiotics are rarely needed to treat a middle ear infection, according to the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne. Placing a warm cloth over the ear and pain medication to treat the fever and pain are effective treatment methods, according to WebMD.

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