Ear infections are one of the most common childhood illnesses in the world. So if you’re a parent who has gone through it, you’re not alone! That doesn’t make it any better though. Staying up all night, screaming kid, not sleeping, scary doctor visits, poking, prodding, antibiotics, more not sleeping, more antibiotics, it never ends! Based on the research and my clinical experience, I really believe that if every child were under pediatric chiropractic care, ear infections would NOT be such an epidemic. Countless children are suffering needlessly every year, it’s time for it to stop.
The “typical” treatment for ear infections are antibiotics. This poses a few problems. First, they are often being used for viral infections, which antibiotics have no effect. A recent study showed that two-thirds of health professionals have knowingly prescribed antibiotics when they were not absolutely necessary. 1 Antibiotics weaken the body’s natural immune response. The drugs don’t care if they kill good or bad bacteria, they kill them all. 80% of our immune system is in our gut and killing these good bacteria will open us up for other illnesses as well as MORE ear infections, not less.
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO AS A PARENT?
The main goal of treatment should be:
1: To reduce the production of mucus
2: Increase drainage of mucus
3: To support the body’s natural immune system.
Pediatric chiropractic care does just that. Gently adjusting the cervical spine helps to increase the drainage of mucus and support the body’s immune system. If your child has not been checked by a pediatric chiropractor, I promise you, it’s one of the best things you will do for your child.
IN ADDITION TO SEEING A PEDIATRIC CHIROPRACTOR, HERE ARE A FEW HOME REMEDY OPTIONS:
1: Holding and snuggling your child!
-This one is simple. There is a reason your child is extra needy when they are sick. The close contact helps boost their natural immune system to fight off the illness faster.
2: Elevate their head
-When they are sleeping, place a pillow or blankets under the mattress so the head is elevated.
-No, this doesn’t mean use Pedialyte (we never recommend using that). Instead, use coconut water, regular water, or we have a great supplement for hydration called Endura.
4: Stop the dairy!
-The original reason we drank cow’s milk is because it was full of healthy fats and nutrients. That’s not the case anymore. The cows are unhealthy and the milk has been ultra-pasteurized and damaged so much that it is not the same. Skip it altogether, especially when your child is having ear infections. The milk will cause TONS of mucus production, will worsen an active infection, and will cause them to come back. We use alternatives like almond, cashew, or coconut milk instead.
5: Garlic oil
-We use this one. Garlic has natural anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. It will also help to reduce some inflammation. We like to add a small drop of Tea Tree essential oil as well. Using a few drops of this in the ear along with gently massaging the ear with a warm cloth a few times a day has shown to help a lot. If the ear drum has ruptured however, this is NOT to be used.
6: See your pediatric chiropractor!
-This should always be the first step in treating and preventing ear infections. The muscles surrounding the Eustachian tubes are controlled by the nerves in the upper neck. When vertebral subluxations are present it will cause those nerves to be overstimulated and will result in tight muscles. This makes it hard for mucus to drain. Specific and gentle adjustments by a chiropractor that specializes in pediatrics will help to naturally alleviate this pressure and will allow the ears to drain.
Ear infections are affecting too many parents. Don’t wait another sleep deprived day, schedule an appointment to see if pediatric chiropractic care is right for your family!