Ask Avera: When should you take your child to the doctor for an earache?

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(KSFY) - Earaches in little ones can be painful for both kids and their parents.

So when should you bring your child to the doctor and what treatment is available? Pediatrician Dr. Kara Bruning answers this common question among parents in this week’s Ask Avera.

“It's totally reasonable to try some Tylenol or some Mortrin to see if that makes it better. When they start running fevers, and they've got the cough, and the runny nose and now they quit eating —it is definitely time to come in and let's take a look at it and see if you have an ear infection. But it's okay to try some Tylenol at first and see if that will fix it,” said Dr. Bruning.

Dr. Bruning says with an ear infection, that infection is trapped behind your ear drum meaning it can’t be fixed at home without antibiotics. She says good hand washing can help stave off ear infections.

“Good hand washing so that they don't get the virus that leads to that fluid behind the ear which can cause an ear infection. So that's the best thing that you can do but other than that, there's not a whole lot you can do to prevent it,” said Dr. Bruning.

Dr. Bruning says if you leave an ear infection untreated, it can lead to worse problems down the line.

“It's always good to get it checked out and if your kids in pain, you want to fix that,” said Dr. Bruning.

If you have a question for one of our Ask Avera experts, you can send them to Tess at tess.hedrick@ksfy.com.