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Ear Infections in Kids

Recap of Dr. Monica’s Ear Infection Webinar. Interested in watching the webinar, click HERE!

To be upfront, this is not going to be a blog where I talk about what ear infections look like in kids. Let’s be real, you as a parent are able to pick up on your child’s body language and verbal cues lightning fast. From the fussiness, crying, tugging on their ears and the sleepless nights; you would do anything you can to help your kiddo feel better!

You set up an appointment with their pediatrician, get the antibiotics and all is well right? Unfortunately, not for most families. What we hear is that they feel like they live at their pediatrician or ENT’s office. The ear infections are coming back so frequently that antibiotics stop being an option and now the only route for relief is tubal surgery! Stress is at an all time high, your kid is miserable and there are still no answers as to WHY the ear infections keep returning!

I wish this wasn’t the story for most family’s, but the truth is that 5 out of 6 kids will have AT LEAST one ear infection by the time they’re 3 years old. Parent’s feel defeated because they don’t have answers and still have a sick kid. Ear infections are treated as if this is supposed to happen to little ones and that it’s normal for your child to have infection after infection. Here’s the truth: just because it’s common, does not make this NORMAL. 

Day in and day out we hear the frustrations parents have about the lack of hope, answers, options that they were given. That is why this blog was a MUST DO for me. I wanted to give you answers to some of the big WHY questions we hear in our office as well as tools and tips to help your child overcome these infections and feel awesome!

Why are kids getting so many ear infections?

A big question we get is why are kids getting so many ear infections?! It all comes down to stress. There are three big categories of stress: thoughts, traumas and toxins. However, when it comes to ear infections, there seems to be a trend on what we hear in the child’s health history.

Axial Traction during C-Section Delivery

Axial Traction during C-Section Delivery

There is stress from the pregnancy and birth experience. It could be stressful pregnancy where mom didn’t feel supported or baby was in a breech presentation. We often hear that the delivery was long, baby was stuck in the birth canal, cord was wrapped around their neck or there was a C-section. Commonly we hear that there was axial traction; that is when there was pulling on baby’s head during delivery. Unfortunately, this axial traction puts an extra 60-80 pounds of pressure and stress on your child’s delicate nervous system.  This action has been shown to create misalignments and tension in the neck and muscles, so the body isn’t able to function like it was intended from the start.

Some of the other common stressors come from their diet or physical traumas. Is their diet high in sugar and dairy? Did they have physical stressors such as trouble nursing, torticollis, reflux or constipation? Putting all the various stressors in their life together, can create a perfect storm for their system to not be able to fight off another stressor when it comes their way.

 Why do they keep coming back?!

Another top question we get is WHY DO THEY KEEP COMING BACK?! It all comes down to how well the body is functioning. Most ear infections come back because the body isn’t functioning like it should.

There are three big reasons WHY:

Maintenance on Drains Needed

The first being that their internal drainage system needs maintenance. When they have a misalignment in their upper neck, it effects their eustachian tubes, causing things to back up. This area of the neck is responsible for the muscles and nerves that allow the eustachian tubes to open and close while swallowing. This is the normal body mechanism to help drain those ears out. However, when there is that misalignment, there is unnecessary tension on those muscles and nerves causing the tubes to close and stay that way. When those muscles get tight, the lymphatic system can’t work like it’s supposed to either which is a huge component of our natural bug fighting immune system! When it’s not draining like it’s supposed to, things back up, mucus builds, the ears can’t drain. That’s when infections set in.

Weakened Immune and Nervous Systems

The second reason is there is a weakened neuro-immune connection. This means that their immune and nervous systems have become suppressed. We commonly see this after kids have had several courses of antibiotics. Most ear infections are viral, but antibiotics are commonly provided more so for stress relief on the child and parent. Even though the intentions are good, this only creates more stress for your child. Not only is your little one’s natural healing process being interfered with, but now the immune system is taking a hit. Those antibiotics destroy the body’s natural probiotics in the gut, which causes the gut-immune function to be altered, which means that this cycle sets your child up for more ear infections in the future. 70% of the immune system is found in the gut, so what just happened to their ability to fight off infections? It just dropped! Their immune system was weakened substantially.

Nutrition and Food Sensitivies

The third reason is nutritional. It is common for children with recurrent ear infections to also have food sensitives as well. The most common sensitives are egg, soy, wheat and dairy. Studies have shown that cows milk thickens saliva which coats the throat and can cause more mucus production. Those foods are also known to cause inflammation in the body, so if they are eaten in excess they are only going to put more stress into an already stressed out body.

Common Times for your Child to Get an Ear Infection

Ear-Infection-In-ToddlersWith that being said, did you know that ear infections are more likely to pop up at certain times in your child’s development? We commonly see kids struggle with ear infections when they are going through a growth spurt or when they’re teething. They are much more susceptible for an infection when there is a change of season or in weather patterns. For instance, here in Minnesota, we went from 60’s and sunny to snow to rain back to sunny in under a week. That’s a lot of adapting that needs to take place! Another time that they are at a higher risk of infection is when they have a cold or congestion. At any of these key times, we highly suggest that parents bring them in to the chiropractor to get adjusted so their body can drain and function like it’s supposed to—keeping those infections at bay!

Tools and Tips

To wrap this all up, let’s dig into those tips and tools to help tackle this for your little one. I have three action steps you can take to help your child kick these infections:

  1. Supplements! Incorporate fish oil – which is a natural anti-inflammatory; vitamin d- natural immune booster; and probiotics. High quality probiotics should be incorporated into your child’s daily regimen especially if they were on a course of antibiotics. The antibiotics likely got rid of the infection, but they also got rid of their good tummy bugs that they need to have a healthy immune and digestive system!
  2. Nutritional changes! Foods that have inflammatory tendencies like wheat, sugar, soy, grains and dairy should be taken easy or eliminated if you suspect your kiddo has an ear infection; or take it easy if they are in one of the common risk times I mentioned earlier.
  3. The final and probably the simplest action step is to get scanned and adjusted! The scans we do are super gentle and safe. They tell us where the tension and stress is stuck in your child’s body! With ear infections, we find a lot of stuck stress in the upper neck and upper back. The nerves in these areas talk to the inner and middle ear, sinuses, eustachian tube, tonsils, glands and the lungs. Key areas that we want to be functioning at their best so the cycle of infections come to an end! Adjustments not only open and clear the drains but it helps the nervous and immune systems function better so your child’s body can naturally fight off any bugs that come their way!

This is something that we see far too often. We know that the stress levels run high when you have a little one that can’t kick infections. Parent’s often ask us “why didn’t anyone tell me this sooner?”. If you are wondering if stuck stress is why your child isn’t able to overcome ear infections, let us see where we can release the stress and tension for your child and help them kick this for good! At Revival, we are passionate about creating healthy families and that starts with sharing the information that we have with you! We are here to be a guide for you and your family.

If you have any questions, want to learn more or to schedule those scans, please do not hesitate to reach out. You can send us a message at the Contact Us tab or give us a call.


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