16 doctors weighed in:
What can you do to prevent your child from getting ear infections?
16 doctors weighed in

Dr. Russell Faust
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
6 doctors agree
In brief: Options ...
Clinical trials, starting in the 1970's, have clearly found that xylitol can reduce ear infections by 30-50%! xylitol is a naturally-occurring sugar that is difficult for bacteria to metabolize, and it helps prevent bacterial adherence to the upper respiratory lining.
Xylitol is available in nasal sprays (best for infants) and chewing gum.

In brief: Options ...
Clinical trials, starting in the 1970's, have clearly found that xylitol can reduce ear infections by 30-50%! xylitol is a naturally-occurring sugar that is difficult for bacteria to metabolize, and it helps prevent bacterial adherence to the upper respiratory lining.
Xylitol is available in nasal sprays (best for infants) and chewing gum.
Dr. Russell Faust
Dr. Russell Faust
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1 comment
Dr. Albert Pizzo
Agree with Dr. Faust. Another very common cause of ear infections in young children is cows milk allergy. If your child is having frequent ear infections try a diet completely free of cows milk or cows milk formula and se if this helps stop the frequency of infections.
Dr. Russell Faust
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
3 doctors agree
In brief: Probiotics
There are a couple well-done clinical trials in children (randomized, prospective) that found significant reductions in upper respiratory infections (uris) in children taking a daily probiotic preparation.
Since most infants and children experience ear infections associated with a uri, reducing uris can help reduce recurrent ear infections. Works well in my practice!

In brief: Probiotics
There are a couple well-done clinical trials in children (randomized, prospective) that found significant reductions in upper respiratory infections (uris) in children taking a daily probiotic preparation.
Since most infants and children experience ear infections associated with a uri, reducing uris can help reduce recurrent ear infections. Works well in my practice!
Dr. Russell Faust
Dr. Russell Faust
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1 comment
Dr. Kristen Stuppy
There are also studies that show xylitol nose drops can help prevent bacterial ear infections. Xylitol is a plant substance that doesn't allow bacteria to grow. It was added to gum years ago to help prevent cavities, now you can find it in nose sprays to prevent sinus and ear infections!
Dr. Patrick Melder
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
3 doctors agree
In brief: Know the factors
Sometimes there is nothing you can do to prevent ear infections.
The eustachian tubes of children are more horizontal and more "floppy" than an adult which prevents adequate insufulation of air (push/decompressing of air) into the middle ear. This creates an environment in which bacteria can grow. So 1) anatomy is a major cause 2) allergies 3) recurrent viral infections (day care).

In brief: Know the factors
Sometimes there is nothing you can do to prevent ear infections.
The eustachian tubes of children are more horizontal and more "floppy" than an adult which prevents adequate insufulation of air (push/decompressing of air) into the middle ear. This creates an environment in which bacteria can grow. So 1) anatomy is a major cause 2) allergies 3) recurrent viral infections (day care).
Dr. Patrick Melder
Dr. Patrick Melder
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Dr. Anna Meyer
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery - Pediatric
2 doctors agree
In brief: several things
Prevent cigarette smoke exposure, limit or eliminate daycare, breastfeeding are all protective.
In addition, good hand washing hygiene can prevent exposure.

In brief: several things
Prevent cigarette smoke exposure, limit or eliminate daycare, breastfeeding are all protective.
In addition, good hand washing hygiene can prevent exposure.
Dr. Anna Meyer
Dr. Anna Meyer
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Dr. Judy Orton
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree
In brief: Immunize!
Making certain your baby gets all the recommended vaccines by the CDC schedule will prevent serious illness.
The pneumococcal (pcv13) and has haemophylis (hib) have an added bonus of decreasing ear infection risk. Influenza risk is diminished by vaccinating. If your baby gets the "flu" he has a higher chance of getting a secondary bacterial infection including ear infections.

In brief: Immunize!
Making certain your baby gets all the recommended vaccines by the CDC schedule will prevent serious illness.
The pneumococcal (pcv13) and has haemophylis (hib) have an added bonus of decreasing ear infection risk. Influenza risk is diminished by vaccinating. If your baby gets the "flu" he has a higher chance of getting a secondary bacterial infection including ear infections.
Dr. Judy Orton
Dr. Judy Orton
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1 comment
Dr. Albert Pizzo
One of the most common causes of ear infections in babies is cow's milk. Usually the baby is fine on mother's breast milk, and problems begin after switching to cow's milk formula and the allergy process starts. If baby is on cow's milk formula try a few weeks on soy formula or nutramagen to see if baby clears up. If so do not give cow's milk in the futuree.
In brief: Avoid bottle in bed
Some children will get ear infections in the first few years, no matter what.
Avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle. Wean from a bottle and pacifier when your doctor instructs you. Avoid exposure to second-hand smoke. Use good handwashing to decrease viral infections- which may lead to some ear infections. Vaccinate your child with Prevnar (pneumococcal vaccine) and hib vaccines, particularly.

In brief: Avoid bottle in bed
Some children will get ear infections in the first few years, no matter what.
Avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle. Wean from a bottle and pacifier when your doctor instructs you. Avoid exposure to second-hand smoke. Use good handwashing to decrease viral infections- which may lead to some ear infections. Vaccinate your child with Prevnar (pneumococcal vaccine) and hib vaccines, particularly.
Dr. CHERYL COLDWATER
Dr. CHERYL COLDWATER
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