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I'm not sure if my DD has an ear infection or not - she's had a runny nose with a cough and has lately begun pulling at her ears more. She's always pulled at them a little bit, but her ears were fine at her 6 month checkup, which was a few weeks ago. It just seems that she's doing it more right now and she's become fussy. I don't want to take her to the doc just to find out if she has an ear infection because I'm not going to give her antibiotics for it at this point, so what should I do? Is there something I can use that I should be able to find at my local health food store, so that I can begin right away. I don't want to order something online and have to wait several days. I should mention that our "health food store" is really kind of a sham, so their selection is pretty limited, but they do have the basics, I think. TIA
 

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Hi, Richelle. I have a book by Aviva Jill Romm called "Naturally Healthy Babies and Children" that has taught me alot about caring for my children at home- there are a number of things you can do- that I have done- for an ear infection- which is wonderful because that means no antibiotics! Here's what Aviva's book recommends, I'll summarize:

First of all, she recommends a good wool hat if your going outside to prevent ear infections, and keep them from worsening.

Apply heat- place a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel on the ear for 5-10 minutes once or twice a day-- this works really well for relieving the pain. Do this in conjunction with ear drops- you can likely find some garlic ear drops at your natural food store- if you can't, you can make your own: 1 bulb of finely chopped fresh garlic and 1 pint of olive oil- simmer over a very low flame for 30 minutes, strain out garlic, COOL, place 3-7 drops of cooled oil into afffected ear. This is what I do, the ear drops and the water bottle, when my kids have ear aches or infections- works so well- you should see improvement pretty quickly, if you don't see improvement with in 24 hours- if not, see a doctor.

Also, Romm recommends avoiding cold food and drinks, and feeding warm foods and drinks,massaging around the ear to encourage drainage, limiting dairy, and giving vitamin C and echinacea- we're also big on Vit. C and Echinacea at our house when ever we start feeling sick.

She has more advice for persistent ear infections, but I'll stop here. Good luck- I highly recommend getting her book or something similar. It's so wonderful to be able to care and treat these mild common ailments at home.
 
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