Just about every child has one by the time they're three. But doctors say as common as ear infections are - parents still have a lot of questions and misconceptions about them. Serese Cole clears up some the confusion in this Ask The Pediatrician report.
Ear infections are no fun for kids.
"They don't feel good, they have fevers, they're tired, they complain of earaches all the time, " said mom, Kristina Nabity.
Nabity's grateful four-year-old Bradley has been ear infection-free so far.
Pediatrician Dr. Clancy McNally said, "I don't think a day goes by where I don't have a kid come in with an ear infection."
Dr. McNally says this time of year there are a lot of infections and questions.
"I think the number-one is ear infections don't come from letting your kids get their head in water, letting them bathe, getting their heads soaked in the water isn't going to give them your usual old infections," said Dr. McNally.
If your child does come down with an infection, Dr. McNally says time in the pool is still okay.
"As long as the ear drum is intact, and it hasn't ruptured, because of the ear infection or kids don't have tubes that were surgically placed in there because of recurrent ear infections, it's okay to swim," she added.
Unless you know what you're looking for, it can be hard to tell if your little one has an ear infection but there are some things to watch out for.
Common signs of an infection include pulling on the ear; cold symptoms followed by a fever; difficulty sleeping and mouth pain that can cause a loss of appetite.
Whenever Kristina Nabity's in doubt, "I just call the doctor," she said.
The only sure way to know for sure if your child's ears are okay.
Parents can help prevent ear infections by keeping their child's nose clear, reducing their exposure to smoke and by avoiding putting kids to bed with a bottle.