This baby’s parents could not figure out why he kept scratching his head. What they found was worrying!

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Babies are little bundles of joy with their big eyes and chubby cheeks which spark the adoration of anyone who encounter them. The way they giggle and gurgle has the power to melt even the toughest of hearts. Though infants are immensely lovable, their capability to communicate has yet to develop and therefore parent’s need to pay extremely close attention to what their child is trying to tell them.

A husband and wife in China had began to notice their son had developed a strange habit which was that he constantly kept touching his head. Thinking that it was nothing to worry about, they brushed off his peculiar habit.

They believed he was just acclimatizing himself with his body

What seemed like an ordinary gesture turned out to be something much more. The couple noticed that even after two weeks had gone by their baby An An still kept repeating the action of putting his hand to his head.

They also started to notice that every time he did, his face would scrunch up as if he were in a lot of pain

They began to worry that this act may not be as harmless as they thought and therefore rushed him to the hospital to see a pediatrician and get a check-up. After the doctor ran a few tests on baby An An and their diagnosis was complete, the couple couldn’t believe the results. It turned out that their child was suffering from a condition called otitis media all along. Otitis media is a condition where the middle part of the ear becomes inflamed and it is very common among young children. An An’s condition was particularly severe as his infection had spread considerably because it was not treated for a long period.

His parents were extremely guilty as they felt liable for their child’s suffering. They did not think twice about An An’s gestures and shook it of as part of the child’s growing process. Fortunately the doctors assured the couple that they were confident with some care and treatment their child was going to make a full recovery.

The doctors also said it was great they sought to bring their child in for a check up before the infection got worse

Since babies have relatively weak immune systems and are prone to viruses and infections, they rely heavily on their caregivers to monitor their health and well being.

Here are a few symptoms that may hint that an infant is suffering from an ear infection:

● Fever (temperature higher than 100.4ºF or 38ºC, see the table for how to measure a child’s temperature)

● Constant tugging on the ear

● Fussiness or irritability

● Decrease in activity

● Lack of appetite or overall difficulty eating

● Vomiting or diarrhea

● Draining fluid from the outer ear

Reference: https://www.uptodate.com/contents/ear-infections-otitis-media-in-children-beyond-the-basics   

So the next time a child is being cranky or does repetitive motions, be sure not to brush it off as they may very well be trying to communicate that something is wrong.

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