I would go for the antibiotics this time. I don't like giving antibiotics for an ear infection right away either, but you don't have the luxury of waiting to see if this is something viral that will pass within a few days, or bacterial and therefore needing antibiotics. Give your son the antibiotics so you can be sure the infection is gone by the time you travel.
It is certainly worth a shot.
I had a very painful flight once and I wasn't even aware I had a cold or sinus thing going on. So even if your ds seems to be getting better without the antibiotics he still may be affected quite painfully once you take off.
Just remembered another relevant story. The teenage daughter of some friends of my parents was flying from California to Newfoundland, changing planes in Toronto. En route to Toronto she had allot of pain in her ears. By the time she landed she had lost some hearing. Turned out to be temporary, thankfully, but the airline would not let her continue her trip on to Newfoundland. She stayed with my parents for about a week until her ears cleared up and a doctor okayed her to fly.
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Hope he clears up quickly and you have a good trip.
What I do for my girls:
colostrum -- one capsule emptied into small, clean dish and mixed into liquidy-paste with warm, clean water and put into ear with dropper (repeat 3 - 4 times a day, I usually do it after meals and before bed)
onion -- cut onion in half, soak facecloth in very warm water and squeeze excess water out, place facecloth over open end of onion and place over ear, this will also ease pain
chlorophyll -- 2 - 3 times regular dosage for 2 - 3 days
also, depending on personal beliefs regarding ingesting bovine colostrum, take 2 - 4 capsules per day, my daughters will eat the powder with a bit of yoghurt or plain followed by a drink or mixed with a bit of water
It's been my experience that it usually clears up quickly and if it hasn't improved in 3 days, you can fill the prescription which should only take 48 hours to kick in enough to ease your toddler's pain for the flight.
My two cents.
Allergies can create swelling of the mucous membranes & fluid in the ear. Some things I'd eliminate for the time being are dairy products, wheat, citrus, eggs, peanuts. All of those foods should be avoided even if your son is not allergic. They add stress to the immune system making it harder to heal.
Often times earaches are because of nutritional defiencies including Zinc & omega 3 & 6 oils.
Tips for soothing pain~
*Place child in upright position, prop their head in bed too.
*Use heat on the ear & neck 10-20 mn. several times a day
*A baked or blanched onion poultice. Either bake in oven for 15 mn. or blanch in boiling water for 1 mn., wrap in guaze & place over ear or behind it. This has been "the" cure at the first onset of earache & combined w/ ear oil. I use the girls winter head band to hold the onion in place, works beautiful!
*Make an infusion w/ olive oil using either garlic or my favorites, tea tree, lavendar, rosemary rubbed around the ears throat & nose. There are many other options regarding oils & herbs as well.
I hope he's well soon, poor little guy.
First, many ear infections are viral, not bacterial, so antibiotics won't do anything.
Second, Augmentin is a very, very strong antibiotic and can cause many side affects. Among them, rash, yeast infections and diarrhea. The diarrhea for my DS was so severe that he was in serious danger of dehydration.
You may have already started the antibiotics, so just being aware of these side effects is important, IMHO. If your child does start to have problems, the general recommendation is to stop the antibiotics immediately and call your doctor.
We had such severe problems with ear infections that we've done the following:
No dairy whatsoever.(We cycled cheese back into his diet in the last month or two with no ill side effects, but he still gets no cow's milk, yogurt or anything else)
Children's echinacea every day. (Found it in the "health food" section of our local grocery store)
Garlic and mullein oil for earaches. (Again, they had it in the "health food" section of our local grocery store.)
After multiple sessions with terrible, dual ear infections and unresponsiveness to antibiotics, we were desparate. We have now had no ear infections since December, so this is definitely working for us. Good luck to you!!
ex-Californian, making my way on the East Coast with DS (10), DS (6) and WAHDH. Former extended BF'er, co-sleeper, and baby-wearer. Remembering how to garden.