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Infant developed redness in ear and mild fever. Is this a sign of an infection?

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Pediatrician, Pulmonology
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 1803 Questions
Hello Doctor, my son is 16 months old now. When he was 11 month old he had cold and eventually his pedeatrician told that he has developed redness in the ears which is not ear infection but can develop into one. That time we did not treat him for his ears, since his pd told it is not necessary unless he develops fever or ear pain. Later he developed a mild fever which cured on its own in a 24 hour period. So I did not take him to doctor again. For last one month he had been tugging his ears but does not seem to be in pain or has fever or other symptoms. This ear tugging started after he had a week of cold. Now we went to his pd for chicken pox vaccination, that time he checked his ears and said there is slight redness in the ear but nothing to worry unless he develops fever. After vaccination, he has developed low grade fever but still very active. My question is red color in the ear, is a sign of an infection?, If he recovers himself from the fever, can I leave this untreated? I am worried bcoz I read a lot about untreated ear infections causing serious effects like meningitis, infection of skull etc.. He has received pneumoccocal vaccines and also never bottle fed for first 6 months.
Posted Sun, 3 Mar 2013 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Arun 25 minutes later

Thanks for writing to XXXXXXX

Do not worry. Your kid probably had viral infection or Eustachian tube block due to cold and secretions in the ear because of it. Maybe also related to earwax and redness due to constant tugging.

Nothing bad should happen.

If he gets fever often or prolonged do consult ENT specialist to have his ears and throat fully examined.

Hope I cleared your doubts, wishing good health for your kid.

Dr Arun
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