Health A-Z

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Prevention

You may be able to lower your child's risk of otitis media by doing the following:

  • Breastfeed your child because breastfeeding seems to offer some protection against otitis media.

  • Make sure your child gets all of his or her pneumococcal and Haemophilus vaccines.

  • Avoid rooms with secondhand smoke, because environmental cigarette smoke may increase a child's risk of ear infections. Secondhand smoke disrupts the function of the Eustachian tube and changes the protection mucus provides. If you smoke cigarettes, try to quit, or at least avoid smoking near children.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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