39 answers

Ear Infections in 2 Year Old

Hey everyone my son just turned 2 on last Thursday. Last month he had a cold and I took him in to the doctor and he said that Ethan had an ear infection in one of his ears. He gave us Amoxicillion and I thought it went away. Well then literally 1 month to the day he got sick again so I took him in last Monday and our Dr. said he had to really bad ear infections in both ears. He gave us the heavier dose of Amoxicillion with something else in it I can't remember the ingrediant. And now my son has been on the anti-biotic a week now and seems to still be very irritable and uncomfortable.
I called the Dr's office and spoke to a nurse and she said that is not supossed to be happening after a few days on the medicine he should be getting better and that I need to bring him asap to have his ears checked again.
My question is..My son has never had ear infections before last month and I am a little worried at why the heavier does of Anti-biotics aren't working. Any one experience the same thing?

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

My husband took him to the Dr. this morning. He said the ear infection is clearing up however he still does have fluid in his ears. That he may be reacting to all the cedar in the air here in Austin and to buy Claritin for him and try that and see if it helps. But if he develops a fever to bring him right in b/c that would mean the infection did not go away.

Featured Answers

You might consult an allergist. My daughter's ear infections were chronic at that age and my pediatrician just prescribed antibiotic after antibiotic. I finally took her to Tyler for allergy tests and was shocked at all the things causing the fluid to build up. She never had another ear infection after that. My peidiatrician did not refer us to the allergist, and only suggested tubes in her ears. She was such a "water-dog," though, I opted against tubes and took her to the allergist. It worked.

In my opinion you should take him to ENT b/c if he has fluid in his ears he can't hear the speech around him correctly and it could impair his language development. He may need tubes or at the least ear drops to help get rid of it faster.
Hope that helps
J. V

Many ear infections are caused by a virus. If this is the case, the antibiotic will not help. We will usually wait about 10 days before giving an antibiotic. My daughter had 4 or 5 ear infections her first year and we treated one that she had for 14 days.

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Hi J.,
My daughter had severe ear infections during the time she was two as well. The best advice I can give that worked for us was:
1)Use Symolasyn ear drops to sooth discomfort - have you or your husband warm the bottle of ear drops in warm hands until you cannot feel the drop on your own skin. Use two drops in each ear morning and night to relieve discomfort and speed healing.
2) Also, make sure that you do not have ceiling fans on - weird but true - the circulation of the fan drones into their ears and causes more discomfort and delays healing.
3) When the pain is really bad, try using a heating pad to rest his ears on or the rice in a sock method works as well - dry rice in a thick sock can be heated in the microwave or kept in the freezer for boo-boo's.
4) Also, make sure that he does not have drinks while lying down, for the liquid will drain into their ear canals as well.
5) Keep his upper body slightly elevated at night while he is sleeping to help with the drainage.
Also, I don't know if your pharmacy has it but most will carry Rescon GG which is specifically for ear infections, it helps drain the eustation tubes...

Hope some of this helps.. I know how frustrating it is when they are in such discomfort and the medicine isn't helping. Now you don't have to feel so helpless.. :-)

Take care and good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I went through a similar situation when my son was 2 (3 sets of ear infections in a period of a couple months).

I took my son to a chiropractor, Dr. Ruth Durkee, she is great with kids. She told me big reason why kids get ear infections is their tubes don't drain properly due to their neck and spine being out of line. I also took him off dairy products for a while.

My son hasn't had an ear infection since. It's certainly worth a try and cheaper than running to the doctor, buying prescriptions, or putting tubes in his ears.

1 mom found this helpful

Don't worry about it, my daughter is a pro at ear infection now. Some antibiotics just do not work on certain children. My daughter had so many ear infections and only a hand full of antibotics worked with her. Additionally some infections need different types of antibotics. There are a million other drugs beside amoxicillion that work just as well if not better. You just have to find out what works best for your little guy. I would not be to concerned about it. I cannot believe that your doctor didn't request to see him in a few days anyways just to make sure that the antibotics were working. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J., I am a mom of 2 and my oldest is 12. He has experienced ear infections from age 1 and his history makes me the unofficial queen of ear infections. Antibiotics are usually for infections and not much help with viruses. Most ear infections start with viruses (colds, etc.) The help of antibiotics with ear infections is bolstering the immune system that is depleted from the cold. It does not surprise me at all that your son has not responded and now has another infection. I agree with the nurse, bring him in asap for a recheck and follow the directions of the doctor, even if it is another round of antibiotics. Ask your doctor about treating the pain with altering Tylenol and Ibuprofen throughout the day. The relief of the pain may help him to sleep better and this will allow his body to heal faster. If he falls asleep with a bottle, the sucking will put pressure on the ears in a flat position and will cause additional pain.

There are many more steps to take if this progresses, but since this is the first experience you have had, I would just try these steps for now.

Good Luck, S.

1 mom found this helpful

I have 3 boys, 6, 4, and 10 months-- My oldest son had the same problem when he was younger, he ended up having tubes put in his ears and that seemed to help a lot. You might ask your doctor whether or not he needs to see an ENT (ears, nose, throat) doctor.

Hello J. I am sorry to hear about your sons ear infection. My son had an ear infection when he was 4 months old and maintained ear infections continuously until the age of 3. We were in and out of Drs. offices and he was always on antibiotics. All I can tell you is that I was extremly frustrated and upset with the physicians for letting it go on for so long. We demanded our son have tubes put in his ears. This happened when he turned 3. The proceedure took no time and his ear infections went away immediately. Before the tubes had been placed in his ears they had my son on low dose of amoxicillion 3x daily for 3wks. as prevenative maintenance. As soon as my son came off the medication we were right back to ear infections. That is when the tubes were put in. My son is now 18 and has been fine. As he grew the tubes fell out he had the proceedure done twice. The sad thing is my son has some hearing loss and as a mother I think it slowed him down a bit with reading etc.. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

About myself. I am 52 years old. I have 2 children 26 and 18 now. I have been married for 20 years and I can feel your pain for your child. Maybe this will help you a little bit. God Bless you and your family. I will keep you in my prayers.

Best wishes for you and your son.

J., my daughter has only had one ear infection before she turned two and then she just got one at Christmas in both ears. She did respond to the amoxicillin (which I don't like giving her), so that was good news. However, my sister is a nurse and there is some new information that amoxicillin is two common of an antibiotic to treat a lot of children's ear infections. And, that another type of antibiotic is needed to remove the infection completely.

In addition, think back and see if your child had the sniffles or a runny nose before the ear infection appeared. If the runny nose was clear, it's possible that your child is reacting to allergies and might be getting the ear infection as a result of congestion in the head and nose that drains into his ears. Little ones sinuses aren't mature enough to drain this fluid effectively. Especially because they sleep flat on their backs at night and don't know how to blow their noses well.

So, maybe your child has some allergies and really needs to have some seasonal remedy to help with that so the fluid doesn't build up and have no where to go. Just something to think about the next time you see the runny nose appear. I know that children as young as two can be prescribed Singulair, although doctors don't want them to take it regularly because it hampers the child's ability to build up immunities to other allergens around them. So, that is why I say that maybe the seasonal changes (or exposure to a different pet or food) may trigger the runny nose and congestion.

Hope this helps!

L. P

You might consult an allergist. My daughter's ear infections were chronic at that age and my pediatrician just prescribed antibiotic after antibiotic. I finally took her to Tyler for allergy tests and was shocked at all the things causing the fluid to build up. She never had another ear infection after that. My peidiatrician did not refer us to the allergist, and only suggested tubes in her ears. She was such a "water-dog," though, I opted against tubes and took her to the allergist. It worked.

My 15 month old son seems to get an ear infection every time he gets sick. I am weary of giving him too many anitbiotics because it strips all the good bacteria with the bad (hence, diaper rash) but what can you do? I agree with everyone else, to take him to an ear,nose and throat specialist.

We are experiencing the exact thing with our TWO girls. Never had an ear infection until this fall when they were about 18 months and 35 months of age. They have been on 4 & 3 antibiotics for ear infections. I decided to see a different pedi and she has recommended allergy testing. Apparently, 95% of ear infections are due to a food allergy. It can take time to build up in some cases, so it could take a while to hit their system. The lab she uses, guarantees that if the child is taken off the suspecting foods, that the ear infections will subside or they refund our money. We are doing this to try to prevent further infections or tubes.

After 5 kids I learned that when one Dr can't figure it out it's time for another oppinion. I Have also tried natural Dr's and when it comes to ear problems the natural remedies work faster and are safer than the conventional antibiotics. Dr. Massie in Friendswood is awesome and has kids of his own.

As soon as I stopped nursing my son at seven months, he wound up with one ear infection after another and antibiotic after antibiotic until he was almost taking adult strength antibiotics, only for his ear infections to clear up for a few days at a time. My doctor sent us to an ear nose & throat specialist who said his ear canal ran straight instead of curved (which is common in children). We had tubes placed in his ears and he has only had one infection since then and it did not cause him much pain because the fluid was able to drain. The tubes fall out on their own naturally. He is four now and very healthy.
I was very much against the tubes, but the difference it has made is tremendous. If your son is so prone to ear infections, have his canals checked out to make sure they drain properly, and if the doctor recommends the surgery, I would really think about it, but make sure you have a really good doctor. We had ours done at the Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, TX where they specialize in pediatrics.

Some kids don't respond to Amoxicillion. I have 4 kids and 2 of them do not respond to that particular drug. I am kid of surprised the doctor hasn't switched to a different antibiotic. You might suggest it, if your son isn't any better. :) Hang in there...ear infections are tough!!!

K. G.
Stay-at-home mom of Chase (10), Tate (8), Logan and Lilly (3 year old twins)

Many ear infections are caused by a virus. If this is the case, the antibiotic will not help. We will usually wait about 10 days before giving an antibiotic. My daughter had 4 or 5 ear infections her first year and we treated one that she had for 14 days.

In my opinion you should take him to ENT b/c if he has fluid in his ears he can't hear the speech around him correctly and it could impair his language development. He may need tubes or at the least ear drops to help get rid of it faster.
Hope that helps
J. V

I have a 15 month old that has been down the same road as you w/many ear infections and antibiotics that don't work. We are finallly getting tubes. The antibiotic they gave you is probably Augmentin which is not a heavier dose but rather has another ingredient which plays as a decoy so the amoxill can get to the infection(best way to describe it w/out getting technical). Amoxill has a good resistance rate these days so they prob need to move to another class of antibiotics. Kids commonly have small ear canals and sometimes even when the infection clears they still have fluid in the ear which causes them discomfort. I hope you can find a resolution. I feel you rpain and I anxiously await our surgery!!! I sell antibiotics for a living so I know more than the average mom about them in case you were wondering! Good luck!

Yes, I have experienced the same thing. That's when I bought the earache tablets by Hyland's Homeopathic. I also bought the book Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child by Janet Zand. Very empowering book. I've gone 99% homeopathic with my children since then. They're healthy and I've never looked back.

My son got sick right before Christmas. Allergies , that turned into a sinus infection. He was given Omincef. 2 weeks later, we where at the doctors office again. Same symptoms, except for fever this time. Turned out to be an ear infection on top of his allergies. He was given Zithromycin, the generic form. Couldnt get it down him. Its the worse tasting stuff you can imagine. So instead she gave us Amoxicillan. She also gave us Ciprodex which is an ear drop with antibiotic in it. Within a day, the fever had gone away and he was feeling much better. Remember, ear, nose, throat, they are all connected. If one goes haywire. The others may go with it. I suggest you go back to the doctor and get an eardrop. It is very expensive. But my doctor keeps it on hand and gives it as samples. Always ask your doc for samples of the meds he/she is prescribing. You may get lucky and save a little. Especially since youve allready made the trip several times all ready. Good Luck, hope Ethan gets to feeling better.

My son had similar issues at around 18 months. Unfortunately they have to go so long with ear infections and the antibiotics not working before they will consider tubes. Ear tubes were the best thing for my little guy. Some ideas to keep him comfortable are putting a warm compress on his ear for a few minutes (if he will sit still for it), keeping their ears out of the wind helps too. My dad is a doctor and once told me that warmer winters generally have higher sickness rates because the cold kills of the bacteria. I don't know if your son's ear infections are bacterial, but that could be part of the problem if they are. Just keep your pediatrician up to date about your sons behavior and hopefully things will get better, or they will opt for tubes.

I am a mother of four children. All of my children had ear infections, all were swimmers and I did find that the homeopathic medicines that you can buy at whole foods are very effective. Buy the book, Everyone's guide to Homeopathic Medicine. by dana Ulman.

there is a guide as to what to take with colds and what to take for ear infections. Ferrum Phos works well...it's a cell salt and natural and took care of even my ear infection. the company Hyland makes a very easy to give for a infant and child...tablet that is specific for ear infections. Check it out it works. It's natural, safe and can be used with antibiotics.

My son had a lot of ear infections when he was younger and the Dr. always gave him oral anti-biotics to take. He is 10 now and about a 1 1/2 years ago he kept having problems from swimming, I took him to his reg. Dr. and he didn't get better so we went to our ear specialist (Dr. Cadenhead in Denton, he put tubs in my sons ears when he was 18 months old) and he told me you should not treat ear infections with oral anti-biotics, but with anti-biotic ear drops. He was better so quick, I will never go to the reg. Dr. for any kind of ear problems again.

I don't know if that helps you any but I would check out a ear specicalist for a 2nd opion.

My daughter is 7 1/2. Recently she had an ear infection. We went to her doctor and she put us on antibiotics. After 10 days of antibiotics, my daughter was still up at night and crying during the day because her ear was hurting. My daughter has been very sick most of her life-In and out of hospitals and on antibiotics and steroids almost continuously. A couple of months ago I decided to try alternative therapy. We began going to a chiropractor. When my daughter got the ear infection and the first round of antibiotics didn't work, I decided to tell the chiropractor about it. He worked on her ear a little, adjusted her spine, and without any more antibiotics her ear is just fine now. I know many people don't support alternative treatment. However, when you've been through what we have been through for 7 years, you will try anything! This is the longest she has been without getting sick. It's working for us.

My daughter used to get horrible ear infections and the oral antibiotics not only took too long but didn't always seem to clear them up. They would frequently give her a shot and she'd start feeling better within 12 hours. Of course, I can't remember what drugs they were, but it was a common antibiotic and the doctor would also give her a powerful decongestant in the shot, as well. We discovered the combination at an AM/PM clinic and had to repeatedly lobby her regular doctor for it, but it was amazing!

Bless your heart. Please know that you're not alone in this. My (almost) 4-year old NEVER got ear infections as an infant. She only started gettin them when she turned 2 and now, EVERY SINGLE time she gets a stuffy nose, it turns into an ear infection. There are pain drops that you can put in your son's ears to help dull the pain (they're prescription, so ask your doctor), so if you're not able to get in to the doctor right away, at least you can help him sleep comfortably at night or during naps. My daughter did not respond well to Amoxicillin either. She has to have stronger medications also... AND, often times, the week after she's finished medication for one ear infection, she gets another one in her other ear. The number of ear infections that they use as a standard in one year before recommending tubes be put in is 6. My daughter just got her 8th, so we're considering putting tubes in. It's not a big deal for tubes and there is virtually no downtime in the surgery (the surgery only takes about 15 minutes). If it continues to happen, try talking to an ear/nose/throat specialist and see if any other recommendations can be made other than going to surgery right away.

Best of luck. I certainly hope it gets better.

My friends son has an antibiotic resistant ear infection and he had to take a special antibiotic. If your child keeps getting ear infections get tubes in his ears. My son has them and they are great. But for now I would take him to an ENT (ear Dr.) for a second oppinion and to make sure its a normal infection.

Good luck- A. j

My son Tony has ear infections contantly. We took him to a Specialist as his Primary Care Dr. instructed us too. Tony had to have tubes put in his ears twice, his adnoids and toncils out. He suffered throught this from 2 to 5 years. They would not do surgery until he was 21/2. I would take him to an ear, nose and throat Specialist. My son is 18 now and that was so many years ago that they probably do day surgery by now. He has been able to breathe better, and he never pulled on his ears again after the second surgery. Do not make your child suffer when he does not have too. It can and will harm their hearing. Good luck to you and your son.

My best advice... Go to an ENT if you can.
My son had constant ear infections...
Bactrim (I think that was it) helped.

My youngest used to have ear infections & strep throat all the time. One year - we were in the doctor's office every 6 weeks. The trick is to clear out the drainage. The ear canals are flat & connected with the nasal passages. What drains out of the nose/sinuses, can settle into the ears. We did the whole allergy testing & didn't find anything major - just the normal dust, mites, etc. But he constantly had a stuffed up or draining nose. We went through breathing treatments and the whole 9 yards - including the ear tubes (twice). After the 2nd set of ear tubes what worked to keep it clear? Singulair and Nasonex. The combination worked fabulously! He is now off the Singulair - but he takes the Nasonex as needed. And knock on wood - he didn't have an ear infection at all last year! He is now 7 -- but from birth to 5, we had a very hard time with it all.
As for the antibiotics, it's good to keep switching them up so they don't become immune to them.

I went through a similar thing with my older son. To make a long story short, the pediatrician thought he needed tubes. I didn't want to deal with tubes, so I fought her on it. Finally, I agreed with her. We saw an ENT, got ear tubes. It was WONDERFUL! He didn't hurt anymore. He then had to get another set eight months later and had his adenoids removed at that time too. Finally, when he was three, he had his tonsils removed. The nice thing about tubes is he didn't need the antibiotics too much after that!

If the doc wants to send for an appointment with an ENT, just do it. It's not so bad, and it helps the kids feel better!

Good luck!

Hi Jennfier. My son has had the same problem, amoxicillin does not work for him. Ask the doctor to try him on omnicef. It's a little more expensive, but it works. He didn't get his first ear infection until he was 1 year old, and now at two he's had 8! We're in the process of having tubes put in, his adnoids taken out and his tonsils taken out because of the severity of his allergies causing the bacteria build up in his throat that drains directly into his ears. The omnicef is the ONLY medication that has worked for his ears. The Z-Pack work occassionaly (liquid form of course) but not as well as the omnicef. I understand how frustrating it is, we are never a one visit sick kid, we ALWAYS have to go back for more meds. I hope that they can get him something to help him have some relief and he can start feeling better soon and so can you!

Good luck!!!

He might not be receptive to amoxicillin. I have two boys who both get ear infections with their colds. Our MD prefers omnicef or augmentin over amoxicillin... may need to try a new drug. :)

My advice to you is to take your son to a good family chiropractor that focuses on not only adjustments, but nutrition and healing. There are good alternatives out there to treat ear infections..garlic oil, colloidal silver drops. Remove the dairy from his diet. My 8 year old daughter was constantly on antibiotics for repeated ear infections and now has candida, major food allergies and sensitivies, and asthma. I wish her pediatrition would have given me this advice when she was younger. I truly believe she would not have these ailments if we would have avoided the antibiotics. Chiropractic care has been an amazing experience for us. IT WORKS!


I work in an ENT's office and we see this all the time. Allergies are very bad this year and people are having problems pop up that they have never had before. If your son is getting recurrent ear infections, it is possible he may eventually need tubes. I would suggest scheduling a consult with an ENT, they will want to know how many ear infections he has had. Some ENT's may want to wait until he has had a certain number of infections before considering surgery. I can assure that tubes is such a simple and easy procedure. It is day surgery. My daughter had tubes and to be honest, I was terrified. But, it was so quick and easy. She was back to her normal self by 4:00 that afternoon. They usually feel much better immediately following surgery because the pressure is gone. Good luck and don't worry, this is very common!

It's possible that the bacteria affecting your son's ears is resistent to amoxicillin. The doctor will have to try some other antibiotics until you both find one that works. Unfortunately, because we have a history of antibiotic over-use in our country, we also have resistent strains of bacteria. It's nothing to be concerned about unless you have reached the point where you have literally tried everything.

You doctor may suggest a different type of antibiotic - something in the 'mycin' family instead of the 'cillin' family. These work differently and may be more effective in eradicating the bacteria in your son's ear canal. My son (just over 2) has only had a couple of ear infections, but amoxicillin didn't work for him, either, on the first one. One the second one, we tried it again (it's a standard first-try drug) and determined he is allergic. So, it's the 'mycin' family for us as a first try now.

Good luck - I hope he's feeling better soon!

My daughter, 3 1/2, was getting ear infections constantly and had her ear-drums burst twice and was getting ready to have tubes put in. Her doctor finally told me about the Mucinex, over the counter mucus thinner. Said to give it to her any time she starts getting congested and it will move the thickened fluids out of her ears. When the crud sits in there, they start getting infected. Guess what? She has not had one single ear infection since!!!

Just a thought. You can buy Grapefruit Seed Extract at Whole Foods. If you call the manufacturer, they can tell you a formula (just a % mixed with water) that can help ear infections. A small bottle might be $10, but it will last 'forever', and can be used for dozens of things.
Wish I knew more about medication to help, but thought this might be an option.
Take Care,

I have a 5 year old little girl. She started having ear infections before she turned one. Amoxicillion never worked for her either. Omnicef usually helped the most or Zithromax. It is very common for the ear infections to keep returning because the eustacian tubes in their ears are to small and unable to drain the fluid out from behind the eardrum. So, even though the antibiotics clear up the infection (temporarily) the fluid is still trapped behind the ear drum and will re-infect again. If the fluid cannot get out on it's own after several months then the best thing might be to get tubes put in the ears to allow the fluid to drain proberly. My daughter had tubes put in her ears when she was one and just had them put in again at age 5. She got relief from the ear pain/pressure immediately and the outpatient surgery only takes about 15 minutes. Hopefully, your son's ears will be able to drain the fluid but if it continues to be an issue, I highly recommend taking him to a pediatric ENT to be evaluated. Life was so much better for my daughter (and me) once she got the tubes. She had never slept through the night until she got the tubes at age one. The pressure on the ear drums gets worse when they lay down so it wakes them up during the night sometimes. Try elevating the head of his bed if sleeping is a problem. I hope the info. helps. Good luck!

My son didn't respond well to that drug either, in fact it gave him a rash, so it is now on his 'don't take' list. We went round after round with the meds, and he kept having ear infections. A lot of the time, there would be no symptoms with the infections, we would just find out someother way. He couldn't hear very well or at all when he had them. We had ear tubes put in, and that greatly helped. Dr. Slaughter on north Mopac is a good Ear Nose and Throat doctor and may have more ideas. He did my son's tubes. Sometimes kids have an ear tube that makes it hard for stuff to drain.

You might want to consider a pediatric chiropractor. That will help immensly (from personal experience) because they can do manipulation to help the eustation tubes drain and stop getting clogged. In 2006 the CDC issued a statement to all doctors not to prescribe antiobiotics for ear infections; they often don't work, and they just deplete the body of all its good flora. Also, you can give your son probiotics every day to boost his immunity and re-populate his gut with the good bacteria that the antibiotics killed off. When my son (3 yrs. old today) had some ear trouble a few weeks ago, my chiro suggested warming olive oil with some crushed fresh garlic in a spoon or glass dish over boiling water. You want it to be warm, not hot. Then take some cotton and soak it in the oil and squeeze it in the ears, and put a piece of cotton in the hole to keep the oil in. In 20 minutes the discomfort was gone. I did it again the following night, and he had no trouble after that (he also had a chiro adjustment). The oil is very soothing, and the garlic is anti-bacterial without harming healthy cells. Hope that helps you!!


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