Ear ache

What can you do if your child has an ear ache? What should you pay special attention to?


The film provides simple advice and guidance on how to keep an eye on your child, what you can do to ease your child's discomfort, and when to call your general practitioner, medical on-call service or emergency helpline.

The most important advice if your child has ear ache

Many children experience having an ear ache. When children have an ear ache, they often have a middle ear infection. It usually comes after a few days with a cold, after which the child gets a pain in the ear, whimpers, sleeps poorly and may get a fever. 

There is usually no need to treat an ear ache with antibiotics (such as penicillin). Children often get well without them, and antibiotics do not relieve pain. 

In some children, the eardrum inside the ear will burst and pus will come out of the ear canal. If this happens, the pain will ease. The eardrum will heal itself in most children after a few days. 


  • Raise your child’s head if he or she is lying down, or sit your child upright.

  • Do not hesitate to give your child paracetamol (such as Panodil® Junior, Pinex®, Arax® Junior or Pamol®) to ease the pain. Follow the instructions on the package.

  • Make sure that your child drinks plenty of fluids.

Call your general practitioner in the daytime. After that, call the medical on-call service or the emergency helpline if: 

  • Your child is younger than six months

  • Your child has had a severe ear ache for more than 24 hours, even though you have given him or her paracetamol

  • Your child’s ear sticks out more than usual, or if the child is red and sore behind the ear

  • Your child's general condition is significantly affected – i.e. has a fever, is drinking less than usual, and you have poor contact with your child

    Or if you just feel that things are going in the wrong direction, even though you have tried the advice in this guide.​​​

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The most important advice if your child has an ear ache
Download fact sheet about ear ache

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