Before the age of two, most children will have had an episode of ear infections. Indeed, this infection is very common among the youngest. Fortunately, there is a simple way to prevent it.
Several factors favor the development of ear infections in young children. First, they are more susceptible to respiratory tract infections, which often turn into ear infections. In addition, the development of the structure of the ear is sometimes not complete, and the Eustachian tube is then smaller than usual. It is this organ that connects the middle ear to the throat and whose mission is to regulate the pressure in the inner ear. Being smaller, it allows microbes to pass more easily, which promotes the appearance of ear infections.
How to prevent ear infections
So, is it possible to prevent ear infections? For a long time, we answered no to this question, since when a child had a cold, he was prone to getting ear infections. The only means of prevention therefore became to wash your hands a lot, and to hope that the child did not fall ill. Only, we discovered that a simple, inexpensive and side-effect-free trick could indeedprevent ear infections: daily cleaning, summer and winter, of the nasal cavities, using a saline solution.
Why is this simple trick so effective? According to the Sainte-Justine mother-child hospital center, children produce a minimum of one liter of nasal secretions per day, and even more when they are sick. These abundant secretions often tend to sneak up to children's ears and, as you will have understood, cause ear infections.
Conclusive results at Ste-Justine Hospital
To find out for sure, Dr. Annie Lapointe, otolaryngologist at Sainte-Justine and assistant clinical professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Montreal, decided to carry out tests with Salinex, a product that is often used in our cottages. To do this, we involved twenty-nine children, between 6 months and 5 years old, who suffered from acute ear infections on a regular basis, i.e. at least four ear infections in six months, or six ear infections in one year. Half of the patients were asked to wash their nasal cavities with saline solution (two full droppers per nostril), four times a day. The others didn't. After only three months, the researchers were able to observe that those who used the saline solution only had a monthly rate of ear infections of 0.35 per month, compared to 1.08 in those who did not. didn't use.
How to clean the nasal cavities?
It is not always easy to proceedto cleaning the nasal cavities: indeed, some children do not like this at all and tend to struggle. The best way to work is to lay the child on their back. The required amount of saline solution is then poured into each nostril, using a dropper. This will have the effect of pushing the secretions down, and the child will swallow them – which we do ourselves, without even realizing it. Around the age of three, when the child is able to blow his nose, another technique is used. The child then remains in a seated position, and a vaporizer is used instead.
In children under three years old, washing should be done twice a day in summer, 4 times a day in winter. When the child suffers from congestion or has a cold, the frequency is increased to 5 or 6 times a day.
What about the baby nasal aspirator? It is advisable not to try to remove the secretions with a baby nasal aspirator since the latter, entering the child's nose, could damage the mucous membrane.
How to make homemade “Salinex”?
You will also be happy to know that you can make your own saline solution. In fact, it's very, very simple and saves a lot.
In a saucepan, boil for 10 minutes: 4 cups tap water, ¼ tsp. (2 ml) baking soda and 1 tbsp. (5 ml) table s alt. Leave to cool and… voila! You can keep the solution in the refrigerator for sevendays.
Also, remember to thoroughly clean the dropper with soap and warm water between each use.
To help you, here is a video created by the ENT team at Ste-Justine Hospital.