Sniffles or Seriously Sick? A Guide to Toddler Illnesses (page 2)

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Updated on Sep 5, 2014

Ear Infections

The dreaded ear infection: Block says it's one of the top five most common toddler illnesses that she sees in her patients. Ear infections are a literal infection of the ear canal and can be extremely painful. When your little one has an ear infection, he might pull at his ears, become whiny and fussy or whine when swallowing. A fever might also be present.

You'll need antibiotics to get rid of an infection, so call your pediatrician for an appointment. In the meantime, offer infant or children's ibuprofen to help lower the fever and reduce the pain. A hot water bottle on the ear might also offer relief.

You'll know it's time to call in the pros when your toddler is lethargic, dehydrated, showing signs of an infection or having breathing issues. However, you shouldn't keep your toddler in a total bubble. "Remember that getting sick is not always a bad thing. It is one of the ways our immune system gets stronger. We get sick, we get well on our own and the next time we are exposed to the same bug, the body recognizes it and we don't get sick." As long as you know what to look for, you can make sure that a case of the sniffles isn't something more serious.

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