What's the cause? Ear infections are the second most common reason for visiting the pediatrician, next to wellness visits [Source: WebMD]. Ear infections are commonly caused by respiratory or viral infections that cause a blockage in the middle ear preventing ventilation and creating a damp, stagnant and warm area ripe for infection. Allergies and other outside factors such as a buildup of water in the ear, known as Swimmer's Ear, can also cause an ear infection.
What to look for: Anyone who recently had the flu or a cold that may be feeling discomfort such as earaches, pain in the ear, headache and hearing loss, may be experiencing the symptoms of an ear infection.
How to prevent it: It's always a good idea to get your child vaccinated with the flu shot to prevent any unnecessary illness. It's also good practice to clean the ear canal lightly with a Q-tip and a solution of one part rubbing alcohol and one part hydrogen peroxide. This solution has a natural drying effect and will eliminate unnecessary moisture in your child's middle ear that can cause infection [Source: WebMD].
What's the cure? Unfortunately there is no hard and fast cure for ear infection, however taking your child to the doctor will help to determine what kind of infection they have. Antibiotics or ear drops are often prescribed for children to help with an ear infection.