How to Prepare Your Child For Ear Tubes

Young girl holding a teddy bear over background ENT doctor consultation

Being a parent can be the most joyous part of your life and one of the most challenging— especially when your child is sick. If your baby or toddler gets frequent ear infections, nothing can be quite as devastating as seeing them in pain and discomfort. Luckily, with the help of ear tubes from The ENT & Allergy Centers of Texas, we can help to significantly decrease the number of ear infections they get.

Ear tubes, also known as tympanostomy tubes or pressure equalization tubes, are small plastic tubes that are surgically inserted into the eardrum to help drain fluid from the middle ear. These tubes are often recommended for children who suffer from frequent ear infections, as they can help to prevent the buildup of fluid in the middle ear that can lead to painful and recurrent ear infections.

The procedure to insert ear tubes is usually performed under general anesthesia and typically takes about 15 minutes. During the procedure, a small incision is made in the eardrum, and the tube is inserted through the incision. The tube stays in place for a few months to a few years, depending on the type of tube used, and then falls out on its own or is removed by a doctor.

If you have decided with your child’s ENT physician that ear tubes are the best route to take to help your child feel better, we will send you home with a detailed list of instructions prior to the procedure. Here are a few others that you may find helpful:

Bring Their Favorite Jammies

Although your child will be under anesthesia during the procedure, making sure they are comfortable both before and after surgery will be helpful. Have your child wear their favorite pajamas. Even if they may need to get out of them for surgery, at least they can be comfortable for as long as possible.

Talk About The Hospital Beforehand

If your child is communicative and is at an age where they understand what’s going on around them, try talking about the hospital or surgery center a few days before the procedure — that way on the day of the surgery, they go into it feeling prepared. As a suggestion, read books about the hospital, drive by the hospital, or just incorporate it into your daily conversations without making it sound scary.

Bring A Stuffed Animal, Blanket, Or Pacifier

Depending on the age of your child, bring a little bit of comfort from home with you to the hospital. Whether your child prefers a stuffed animal, blanket, pacifier, or anything else, having something there to comfort them will make you both feel better.

Undergoing surgery is scary, but it’s even more magnified when it’s your child. Luckily, by using the tips listed above, you can help your child and in turn, yourself, feel a lot calmer on the day of their tube procedure.

To learn more about ear tubes and other ear infection treatment options for children, or to schedule a consultation at one of our eight North Texas locations, please contact us.

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