Otitis Media, Child

A middle ear infection is an infection in the space behind the eardrum. It often happens along with a cold. It is caused by a germ that starts growing in that space. Your child's neck may feel puffy (swollen) on the side of the ear infection.


  • Have your child take his or her medicines as told. Have your child finish them even if he or she starts to feel better.

  • Follow up with your doctor as told.


  • The pain is getting worse.

  • Your child is very fussy, tired, or confused.

  • Your child has a headache, neck pain, or a stiff neck.

  • Your child has watery poop (diarrhea) or throws up (vomits) a lot.

  • Your child starts to shake (seizures).

  • Your child's medicine does not help the pain when used as told.

  • Your child has a temperature by mouth above 102° F (38.9° C), not controlled by medicine.

  • Your baby is older than 3 months with a rectal temperature of 102° F (38.9° C) or higher.

  • Your baby is 3 months old or younger with a rectal temperature of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your child's condition.

  • Will get help right away if your child is not doing well or gets worse.