Infections of the outer ear can be prevented by keeping the ear clean and dry. Adding a few drops of a mixture of alcohol and acetic acid after swimming can insure that the ear dries properly.
There seems to be little chance of preventing infections of the middle ear in young children. The problem appears to be a normal part of growing up.
One step that parents can take is to reduce as much as possible the young child's chance of catching a cold, the flu, or some other infection of the upper respiratory tract.
In addition, the patient should receive medical attention as soon as an infection appears. Children who have had earaches should have follow-up visits to the doctor after the infection has disappeared.
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