46 answers

Help for My Baby's Ear Infection!!!

My 1 year old has come down with an ear infection. We just had her checked last night. This was her first cold too. It started with a runny nose a week ago and I just knew that something else was bothering her. She's had a fever for the last 6 days and has been having runny bm's too. This morning when I got her out of bed her ear was covered in slimy (some crusty) discharge. I feel so bad for her. :'(

My question is...is there anything I can do to help her? We just started her on amoxicillin this morning and have been giving her Tylenol a few times a day. Should I be cleaning her ears with Peroxide or something? Should I give her Pedialyte??

Just wondering if you have any other suggestions. Maybe - a way to prevent these in the future??

Thanks in advance for your time and advice! :0)

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow! I really appreciate all the quick responses. Thank you all for your time and advice.

I'm going to start giving her more yogurt as soon as she wakes up from her nap and I'm off to get some Motrin too.

Part of the reason I was concerned about the diarrhea was because she had it *before she was on the antibiotic. Also, the reason we hadn't seen a Dr. earlier is because we *just moved 3 days before she came down with this stuff. I was in contact with her former Dr. and she said it sounded like an ear infection to her, but many Dr.'s aren't giving antibiotics for ear infections anymore. I went with my intuition and ran into a friend who is a PA who checked her out and was shocked at how badly her ear was swollen (she is a brave little girl with a high pain tollerance!).

She still hasn't quite snapped back to herself yet. Then again, she's only had the meds 3 times. Her fever is gone, though, and she's sleeping through the night too!

Thanks again for all your prayers and advice! God bless you all.

More Answers

If your babys ear is "gooping"... Don't put ANYTHING, not even water in it!!! Typically the gooping is because the pressure of the infection has caused a ruptured ear drum. Since you are handling the infection the gooping will stop. But still don't put water or anything in her ears for a few weeks just in case.
Keep an eye on it and if the gooping drainage doesn't stop in a few days then take her back to the DR. Or if the ear seems to bother her still. (Try to keep her ear covered when in any wind and don't put anything liquid in it without drs ok just incase the rupture is big.) Most ruptures are small and heal on their own in a few days/ weeks.
Wipe the ear off with a slightly damp cloth to clean up the drainage and be careful about soap and water when bathing.
Hope she's feeling better soon....

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I just wanted to write and say I think it is so weird that I know you and here I am reading your thing on this site! Hope the litte one is better soon. (H.)

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Hi C.. There's really not a way to 'prevent' these ear infections, some kids are just prone to getting them when they have cold symptoms (runny nose, log-grade fever). Part of the problem is that their eustacion tubes in their ears are not yet formed for the best drainage of normal drainage. Sometimes it takes an antibiotic from an m.d. to clear symptoms/pain.

I often tilted by baby's cribs on a slant, using encyclopedias on the front footings, so that their heads were at the top, allowing for less pressure on the ears. this seemed to help at night time. Tylenol also helped. I do believe there is pain associated with the pressure of the infection. Talk to your baby's doctor about proper dosage--It is always linked to their current weight, and I often under-dosed my kids!

Make sure you see your pediatrician/health care provider if your child continues to have symptoms so that you can track a history. Having a fluid build up can/may later effect
language. Some kids are prone to infections, other's, it's a once/twice thing....so not a big deal.

But: it is a big deal when you have a 1 year old up crying at night with pain! Yes, I remember that! Their pain is real.

Hang in there! Ear infections = long distressful nights!


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My 20 month old had a fever for 6 days too. I took him to the doctor's office and they did NOT find the ear infection until his ear drum burst. But after it burst and they gave him ear drops and amoxicillin he was better in ONE day! He wouldn't drink the pedialyte either so I wouldn't waste your $$ on it. Just wanted you to know that even though you do what you think is right sometimes the doctor's don't know what it is either. Don't feel bad, you are on the way up now. God bless and try to get some sleep now :).

1 mom found this helpful

My ped says that a child should be seen by a dr if they have a fever for more than 48 hours.
I generally follow that advice. Sometimes you take the child to the dr and the dr says it is a virus.. but at least you know.

Advil/motrin works better for pain than tylenol. They make baby motrin. We use advil for our kids teething pain. Use the advil every 6 or 8 hours around the clock for the next 24 hours until the ear feels better.

My kids will not drink pedialyte.. I have wasted a lot of money on the stuff. It tastes awful and they wont drink it..

If she is eating and drinking ok.. then she doesnt need pedialyte. She probably wouldnt drink it anyway.

She may have worse diahrea from the antibiotics.. a bit of yogurt will help with the diahrea.

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Hi C.!
Your daughter should be in less pain now, it sounds like her ear drum(s) ruptured. You may want to contact your pediatrician and let them know what you think happened. When my oldest was a baby, the same thing happened and her doctor prescribed ear drops and ear plugs, to keep bath water out until her ear drums healed. In my experience, there is really nothing you can do to prevent ear infections. Some children are prone to them and some are not. My oldest had chronic ear infections starting at 5 months. She had ear tubes put in at 9 months (they fell out 1 year later) and never had an infection until last summer (she is 11 years old now). My middle daughter (9) has never had an ear infection and my youngest(4)had only one.
Until you talk to your doctor - Do not put anything in her ears! If her ear drums are ruptured, you could inadvertently introduce bacteria into the ear drum.
My oldest always had bad diarrhea from the antibiotics, which is common and normal, so we fed her yogurt, and gave Pedialyte to keep her from getting dehydrated.
God Bless you and your daughter! I will pray that she is healed quickly and has no more ear infections.

1 mom found this helpful

Sorry to hear your little girl has been so miserable! If it's any consolation, the nasty drainage from her ear probably made her feel better - it relieved some pressure there. I don't think you need to use peroxide to clean it, maybe just a warm washcloth. My daughter had several ear infections when she was a toddler, and her pediatrician said warm moist heat was good for both the pain and helping the ear to drain if it needs to. He even suggested using a blow dryer on a warm setting (as long as the noise doesn't bother her). I tried this on my son once at 3 a.m. when he woke up crying with an earache, and it worked - although my husband thought I was crazy!

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If you can prop her bed up, that helps. Also, take the stopper out of her sippy cup when you can because the sucking tends to bother their ears. Also, if she is on antibiotics make sure she has alot of yogurt as the antibiotics will clean out her good bacteria too. If possible add some Flora (you can get the powder at health food stores) which helps to keep the good bacteria in her body. My daughter developed an intestinal issue after taking the antibiotics and the Flora helps. Hope this all helps.

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sorry to her that the lil one has an ear infection. My son just got over one (he;s 14 months). you should not need to give her pedialyte unless she is not drinking her milk or juices - unless shes dehydrated, then no you dont have to! give the ammox a few days to kick in her system and it will eventually kick the infection out - youll start to see a change in a few days! as for her ears, when you give her a bath, dont get her ears wet - any water will not make it better - when you wash her hair, use a washcloth or something - dont pour water over her head until after the ammox is done and her ear is better.

good luck and hang in there.... theres really not much you can do besides give her love and cuddle with her - let her know mommys here!!!!!

1 mom found this helpful

It sounds like her eardrum has ruptured. You mentioned a crusty discharge, did you see small drops of blood? I would call her doctor and explain this. If it did rupture it should heal on its own. When it happened to me the doctor gave me numbing ear drops to make it feel better. You might want to consider alternating Motrin and Tylenol. Do not put anything in her ear unless your doctor tells you to. But, please call the doctor she might need to have her ear checked again if the eardrum ruptured. Good luck, I know how awful you feel when you can't make the hurt go away. It is also hard not being able to explain what is happening to them. My son is 4 years old now, and when he gets sick I feel better I can explain it to him. It also helps when he can tell me what would make him feel better.

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Hello! My son had an ear infection for the first year and 1 week of his life. That's when tubes were put in. What a blessing! The drainage you are describing sounds to me as though her ear drum may have ruptured. Don't panic! Call the Dr. and describe what you found, and they will tell you what you should be using. Ear infections can be very painful, in fact my Dr. prescribed eye drops instead of ear drops because it wouldn't hurt as bad. In the future, when she runs a fever, call the Dr. Sometimes you can catch whatever is going on, before it goes to far. Hopefully you can get her feeling better before the holiday weekend, that way everyone will be able to enjoy the good weather!
Best of luck, T.

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Hi. First of all, let me say you are SO fortunate to have made it all the way to a year old, that is great that he hasn't been sick with all the yuck going around. And on the ear infection issue, I very much feel your pain. I have 3 boys, one is 14, one 11 and a 1yr old. ALL have had chronic ear infections, tubes, adenoids removed, one with tonsils removed. SO, I know it is really hard to watch them hurt. I have found that Motrin is a better pain reliever than tylenol. And I know "they" say not to do this anymore, as opposed to when my older boys were babies/toddlers, but if you feel like she is in a lot of pain, you could talk to your dr about alternating motrin and tylenol every 3 hours. I believe they stopped recommending that because parents were overdosing their kids, but I still do it (hard to teach an old dog new tricks) and I'm very careful to make sure he is getting the correct dosage and never before the 3 hours. However---I would never advise to do that without speaking to your physician. ALSO, my doc gives me ear drops to alleviate the pain too. Hope this helps, hang in there, the good thing about ear infections is that they typically clear up quickly.

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The fever is from the ear infection. A day or two on the antibiotic will do wonders for her. For now, all you can do is manage her pain. I wouldn't worry too much about the fever. The Tylenol/Motrin/Advil you give her will calm her fever as well as her pain. She'll be feeling just fine in a day or two. Did you know you can piggy back Motrin and Tylenol every 4 hours? I would do this during the day with my girls and then give them Advil before bed. It gives much stronger pain relief. There really is nothing to prevent this type of thing in the future. Ear infections are like colds. If she's exposed to the germ, she may get it. Like the others said...take her to the doc if a fever persists for more than 24 hrs and the infection won't have as much time to fester. She'll be better soon :-). You lucky that at the age of one, that this is her first cold!!!

It sucks when your baby is sick. It gets so much easier when they are a little older and can verbalize things.

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In addition to what everyone else says, I would like to suggest that you give your daughter some yogurt. The amoxicillin can kill all the bacteria in her stomach (indicated by the runny BMs) and one of the fastest and easiest ways to re-build it is to feed your child one cup of yogurt per day. It can be soy, regular, kids, lite, whatever, as long as it has active cultures in it. I wish someone had warned me about that when my son had a bunch of ear infections when he was about one. Other than that, you just need to tough it out for a day or so and hopefully she'll perk up. Good Luck!

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It sounds to me like her eardrum may have ruptured because the infection built up pressure behind it. This happens and It will heal on it's own, but should be avoided because A. it's painful and B. if it happens often scar tissue will form. 6 days is a long time to leave a fever unexplored by a medical person. Good for you that she's now on antibiotics. Check with your doctor, but I can't imagine that you should do anything but wash the outside of her ear with warm soapy water. I'm sure a warm washcloth held against that side of her face and ear would feel soothing.

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Hi C., Sorry to hear that you child is sick. Don't put anything into the ear canal unless the doc said to. You can help with the discomfort though. Take a sock and fill it half full with rice. Put it in the microwave and zap it for 2-3 minutes. Put it against your wrist to make sure it's not too warm, make sure to keep it there for a minute or so. Then put in against your childs ear, behind the ear also. The warmth with help with the pain. Keep water out of the ear, and cover it if out in the wind. This could also be seasonal allergies, so watch for any patterns. Good luck, hope she gets well soon.

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My dr said not to clean with peroxide because it turns to water in the ear and can actually cause an ear infection. You could try steaming her in the bathroom for the runny nose, just turn the shower on very hot and stand in the bathroom with her (obviously don't let her touch the water). Also if she is congested or has a cough, put Vicks on her feet then socks over it, works like a charm.

If she's got that kind of discharge from her ear, it sounds like she might have ruptured the ear drum.... The doctor could tell. If she has, don't stick anything in the ears. No liquids or Q-tips or anything. Just let it go. Wipe the outside. The Amox will take care of it, and Tylenol will deal with the discomfort. This should heal and she'll be fine.

It sounds like her ear is draining..that's a good thing. Any fever lasting longer than 2 or 3 days is reason for another trip to the doctor. Her runny bm's could be from the antibiotics. Ear infections can be a one time thing OR they can be an indication of a food allergy. The usual culprit is milk or milk products. Hopefully you can find out what caused this rather than going through a string of infections that end up with ear tubes, lots of antibiotics and possible loss of hearing.

Hi there~
Please refrain from putting anything in her ears unless your doc says so! Especially with the rupture, even bath/shower water can cause a raging infection. Our tympanic membrane (eardrum) is intact to keep fluid levels balanced, that's why it ruptured. My son had to have his punctured (preface to tubes) surgically and we couldn't put his head underwater for over a month! It will close, though, just make sure the doc checks it!


The Amoxicillin should kick in pretty quickly. As far as the discharge from her ear, I probably wouldn't worry too much about that. If it is something that prolongs, call the ask a nurse or something. Maybe a damp warm washcloth will take care of that. Her cold probably settled in her ears. My experience with ear infections is pretty extensive but there isn't anything that you can do to prevent them from happening.

If her ear was covered in discharge this morning, it most likely means her eardrum ruptured. This has happened to my daughter many times. DO NOT PUT PEROXIDE IN HER EAR! When the eardrum bursts, it does so because the infection was so bad, it needed to get the liquid out. My mother told me to put peroxide in my daughters ear, and it caused her excruciating pain, and caused her to redevelop the infection over again.
With a burst ear drum, there is a possibility of hearing loss, so you need to take her in to have her ears tested. But continue her on the antibiotics, because whatever caused the ear infection needs to be treated.
If she is having runny bms, then give her Pedialyte so she doesn't get dehydrated, but the important thing is to get her back into the doctor ASAP to have her ear evaluated. I know you were just in there, but it burst last night, so, it needs to be looked at again. Good Luck!

Hi C.,

I have a 2 yr old and he has a fever for 5 days and the result was because of an ear infection as well. The best thing to do is take your baby to the doctor and the doctor will prescribe some antibiotics that will help her feel much better. Also make sure she is getting enough fluids so she wouldn't be dehydrated


My son had ear infections constantly when he was a baby. When his fever was high, the doctor and pharmacist recommended giving him both tylenol and motrin (they are different and don't react negatively with each other). The only thing that really helped was having tubes put in his ears.

There isn't much to do. Laying her flat can cause pressure in her ears which causes discomfort. You may want to have her upright. Cleaning the ears with peroxide may cause you more problems then you want. Try to keep her from laying back when drinking because the milk runs into the ears which causes a lot of ear infections.

Hi C.,
When ever our kids ears start to bother them, my husband always starts to clean them out with Peroxise. We just you like a medistion doser and put a little bit in each ear. It feels funny to them, but it always makes them feel better and helps with clean out the infection. Good Luck

i dont know if anyone told you this yet but warm up some olive oil and add crushed garlic. when the oil is warm but NOT HOT, pour some into the infected ear and have her lay on the opposite side as long as you can then let it drain out a little. and definitely get her on a probiotic ASAP.

A really good way to prevent them in the future is to not treat them with antibiotics. Ear infections usually resolve on their own without the use of antibiotics, sometimes it just takes a little longer. Homeopathy and herbs are a great alternative in helping with the discomfort and supporting the immune system.


Definitely tell your doctor about the ear discharge. But some things your doctor may/may not tell you are that after the course of antibiotics, give your daughter a probiotic (found at Whole Foods, etc.), and a lot of good-quality yogurt (one that states on the label that the cultures are live/active. This will rebuild her good bacteria in her tummy and help prevent consecutive infections. The antiobiotic isn't picky about the bacteria it wipes out...it takes the good with the bad, and that is often what the diarrhea is from. So rebuild her little tummy after the antiobiotics. this will help her immune system in general too.
Also, to prevent some of the diarrhea...go heavy on bananas and cheese (real cheese), and stay away from fruit and juices. This may help to 'bind' her up enough to reduce the constant diarrhea, rash, etc.
In the future, when she gets a runny nose, be sure to use saline drops to keep everything thin instead of thick. It 'might' help to prevent it from settling in her sinuses or ears.
Good luck

DO NOT PUT ANYTHING INTO YOUR CHILD'S EAR. My youngest son now 14 had constant ear infections when he was younger. He had tubes, etc. Just gently clean the gunk around her ear with a wet washcloth. Tylenol is good, it hurts more to lay down (flat). Cuddling her and reassurance will help a bit. The antibiotic will make her feel better in a day or two. The antibiotic can also cause diahrea. Pedialyte is a good option. Seeing our babies sick and miserable is very hard. Hopefully she will be better soon and back to her old self.

Also babies that are exposed to cigarette smoke are more prone to ear infections. Good Luck.

I bought a popsicle tray and I make juice sicles whenever my kids are sick. Sometimes I mix in yogurt, fruit and juice in my blendar - they drink it as smoothies and I freeze some for popsicels. They live on this stuff when they are sick, esp with fever. I heard from a friend- Get a wash cloth wet with hot/warm water, not dripping. Have your child lie on her side with the cloth under her head, under her sore ear. Supposedly the heat helps with the pain. I've never tried it, but it doesn't seem like it would hurt anything either. Good Luck!!!!

Hi C.!
This is about prevention that you asked! Strengthening the immune system is a biggie. I'd love to share specifics with what has worked well with our 3 boys(11,7,2 yrs.) avoid those nasty ear infections with you! I specialize in helping moms and kids achieve optimal health!Feel free to call me at ###-###-#### or ###-###-#### cell.Best time to reach me is 9-10 am or 1-2:30 pm next week or later in the evening!

Hi C.,
I wouldn't use peroxide in her ear, that will just add to the fluid. If you're concerned about cleaning the crusties out of her ear I would take a Q-Tip and gently clean the outter part of the ear, not going in the actual ear canal. The ears are self cleaning and will get all that junk out.

As far as the pain, you can alternate tylonel and motrin ever 4 hours is what I do for my son who is also one and has had numerous ear infections. Did the doctor give you ear numbing drops? Those help, if he didn't I believe you can buy them at either Target or Walmart. That's the only thing that gets my son through the infection until the antibiotic kicks in.

Good luck!

I agree with the last three responses. I also agree with the pedialyte issue. My three kids will not touch it. When I brought that up to the doc, he suggested gatorade. That worked, they don't mind drinking it and it hydrates them quick and a lot cheaper than pedialyte! If she has a fever, keep her undressed down to her diaper. Fevers could turn into seizures quickly with babies, especially if there is a bad infection. Keep her cool, even if she is shivering. Hope she feels better soon!!

Beth is right, follow that advise. Also, in the future if your sweetie has a fever for more then a day see the doctor right away. It's usually a good sign that she's got an infection some where. If the membrane ruptures to often it can cause hearing issues.
Pedialyte would be a good idea since she has had runny BM and that could cause dehydration. I hope she feels better soon!

Hi C.,
You've already gotten alot of good advice. My son also had quite a few ear infections, they started at a few months old, so your daughter starting at 1 yr is pretty good. Yes, alot of it is the ear canals - not much you can do there. I was also told that the drinking their bottle laying down can contribute to getting ear infections. My son also always got diarrhea from the antibiotics - to the point one time where he had a diaper rash start, then almost got to bleeding pretty quick. It turned out that he had a yeast infection in the diaper rash - common from antibiotics. When he was a little older, one doctor prescribed the chewables and he had no problems with those. I always had to specifically ask for the chewables, though, even when he was 10 yrs old! My son always said they tasted just like the "pink medicine."
Also, rotate the tylenol and motrin, so that every couple of hours she's getting one of them. They are different meds and work differently, so you can use them both. Only if she's still running a temp. (if she's really acting like she's in pain you could give some, too).
good luck! hope she feels better soon!

Your doctors are going to tell you this does no good but I still think it helps. Put a little cotton in your daughter's ears when you wash her hair and after her bath put just one drop of hydrogen peroxide in each ear. Sweet oil also seems to help. It helps dry up the water quicker and when I was a girl (I am now 59) I had terrible earaches and this is what my mom did for me and it helped. I also did this for my daughter and it helped. I didn't want her to be on medication all of the time and I didn't want to put tubes in her ears. Give it try....can't hurt, might help. C.

I know alot of people that have taken their kids and babies to chiropractors for ear infections and have had great results. If you want to send me a note of where you live I might be able to send you in the right direction.

Put her ear on something warm (make a rice sock- fill a sock with rice and put in microwave) then put her ear on it for the pain.


Hi C.,

I have 2 and 4 year old boys, and both boys had ear infections. My older boy was 9 months old and kept getting reoccuring ear infections, and so he built up a tolerance to Amoxycilin.

Long story short, that was the last time I have been to the doctor with either of my boys (no colds or any sickness). I started using a Shaklee product called Optiflora (good bacteria), and basically it will help with both bacterial and viral infections. If you would like to know more please call or email me. I also have a website.



I think you should check with a Doctor - ears are nothing to mess around with - but having said that - I had ear aches pretty much all the time as a kid and in college, my room mate's father was a Doctor and gave me the tip of swabbing my ears with a Q-tip dipped in apple cidar vinegar - especially after my ears were exposed to water - whether by shower or swimming. Since that time I've passed this "home remedy" on to others and was surprised to find in 2 cases, the friends who visited Doctors were told the same thing! Apple Cider Vinegar on a q-tip - who knew? ( Good Luck with your little one )

Hi C.,

Ear infections are scarey especially in little one's who can't ell you where and how it hurts.

Peroxide does work well to help clean out nasties. Another remedy we use very effectively is 10 drops of olive il with one drop of Melaleuca Oil (tea tree oil). It works wonders!


It's never a bad idea to give them the Pedialyte when they're sick to help keep them hydrated. Especially with an ear infection because usually if the ear hurts, they don't want to swallow a whole lot. The discharge looks gross, but I would guess it's probably the antibiotic getting it out of there, which is a good thing. You can also alternate between Tylenol & Motrin every 4 hrs. to help with pain/fever. I would call the doctor to be sure, and just wash her ear with a warm cloth as much as possible and let it drain as much as possible. (My son said it felt good to have the warmth on his ear so I would put warm water in a hot water bottle & let him lay his head on it) Also, I would suggest marking on the calendar when the last day of the antibiotic is taken. The reason I say this is because Amoxicillin never worked "long term" on my son. It would get rid of everything while he was on the med, but as soon as he was done - about 10 days later the inf. was back. A lot of infections are "immune" to some of the most common antibiotics now days - so I would def. track it in case you need to possibly try something different. In the end, he ended up with tubes in his ears by the time he was 4 and never had another infection after that! Good luck and never hesitate to call the doctors office & ask the nurse questions, that's what they're there for. :) Hope your daughter feels better soon.

i am sorry about your daughters ear infection. Don't put anything down in her ear unless the ped gave you some drops 9 sometimes they can give you numbing drops for the first 24 hours . Pedialte is only if she is dehydrated. just keep her comfy, tylenol, , it should only take 24 hours for the meds to kick in

You can place a blanket or pillow under her matress to prop it up when she sleeps to help with the drainage. Usually after about 24 hours onthe antibodic they feel much better. I wouldn't worry about pedialite (it is mainly used to prevent dehydration) and I wouldn't put anything in her ears, unless your doctor tells you too. I find that Motrin works better (and lasts longer) than Tylenol.


My son had a number of ear infections when he was really little. We take him to our Chiropractor monthly to make sure his ears drain properly and fluid does not build up in the inner ear.

Children are especially prone to ear infections because the angle of the tubes in the inner ear is very shallow, so when the vertebrae shift, even a little, that angle shifts to horizontal, trapping fluid into the inner ear and can eventually cause ear infections.

With children, chiropractors use what is called an activator, they do not manually shift their vertebrae with their hands. But, if you start taking your daughter now, her muscles will be trained from the beginning how to keep her spine in place.

I hope this helps. My son hasn't had an ear infection in the last 3 years since he started seeing our chiropractor and he has seasonal allergies causing a runny nose and drainage.

I hope your daughter feels better soon.

Good luck.

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