Should I let my 1 year old get tubes?

Angel Hillary Marie - posted on 12/29/2014 ( 5 moms have responded )




My daughter is 1. She has had 4 ear infections since she was 4 months old. We took her to the pediatrician after being on her antibiotic for a week she still had her infection so they refered her to a Ent he took one look and said there is fluid behind both ears she needs tubes I dont think she does because they scheduled her surgery a month after her appointment so its almost time but she hasnt been messing with her ears at all. Before she would all the time.


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Ev - posted on 12/30/2014




It is really up to you to decide how to proceed with this since you have seen your peds doc and the specialist. My son had issues of ear infections from that age of about 6 months to over a year old. In that time the doc he was seeing would not do much other than antibiotics and that was it. We changed to a peds doc and they put him on some stronger antibiotics and did so for a month. He was near a year of age at this point. They also told us that if that did not work then they would suggest tubes. After a month he was clear and had no more problems with ear infections. So we were glad tubes were not needed. But I have had friends and co=workers that had to have the tubes for their kids and most times they fell out or did not work at all. But that is just a few other people not the whole country. Do what you feel is best and talk to doc again.

Guest - posted on 12/30/2014




If you are unsure, and she is no longer having issues, you could wait on the surgery. (This is NOT MEDICAL ADVICE though, talk with your doctor before making a decision, but here are some things to consider)

Often times the shape of an infant's head puts the eustation (sp?) tubes in the ears at the wrong angle, so the fluid does not drain as it should, resulting in the need for tubes to drain the fluid more efficiently. As the child gets older, the head shape matures and the tubes right themselves. This can happen quickly around one year, so your baby might be reaching that point, but sometimes it takes longer and may not be right until close to 4 years. In very few children (my son is one of them, as is my husband), the tubes are deformed and will never right themselves, so both my son and my husband have to have tubes put in almost every year until a more permanent solution is found.

The fluid builds up the worst when the child is laying flat on her back....which is also, unfortunately, the safest position for a baby to sleep. You can improve fluid drainage by allowing your baby to sleep at an incline, like in her baby swing if she isn't too big, or by placing a wedge under her mattress to raise the top part about 6 inches (there are actual wedges made for this, but you can use a folded blanket or yoga roll).

The fluid build up provides a good place for infections to take root and grow--so many of the germs that enter the body that would normally just die off if there was no fluid there, take root and an infection develops. The tubes will help the fluid drain better, thus lessening the chance of infections developing. You can always treat the infections with antibiotics, however concerns are rising about the over use of antibiotics, and also, sometimes (very very rarely) prolonged infections can cause permanent damage. So if fluid build up is the only problem, she doesn't really NEED the tubes in the sense that not getting them will hurt her (as long as you are careful about treating the infections as they arise), but they can be very beneficial for her.

My husband and son have this surgery about every two years. It is VERY routine, simple, and non invasive. The actual surgery itself takes less than half an hour, and you can be with her for pretty much everything else--prep, anesthesia, recovery, etc. We are usually in and out of the hospital in less than 6 hours.

Nicole - posted on 12/30/2014




Hi Angel,
Both my son and daughter had tubes in their ears. My son also had his adenoids removed. I do believe it is a BIG decision because of the risk of anesthesia complications. But the actually surgery, in my opinion, is no big deal.
Here is my story:
My son started experiencing ear infections from the time he was an infant. He was a very happy and compliant boy but when he was on antibiotics he was irritable and miserable. We dutifully gave him the antibiotics regardless. The antibiotics always cleared up his infections but they would return within a week or so of stopping them. Since the antibiotics cleared up the infections his pediatrician was against tubes. The rule of thumb was to continue with antibiotics as treatment unless they didn't clear up the infections. So... for four years he was on the antibiotics. At age four the infections got so bad that his hearing was severely affected. At this point his pediatrician sent him to an ENT who ended up being shocked when he heard our story. I now wonder how all those antibiotics affected him. My son got tubes in both ears and his adenoids removed. The hardest part of the whole thing was the effect of the anesthesia right after the surgery. He cried a lot and was confused. I was not prepared for that and I wish I had been more so prepared but it only lasted about an hour. He had no pain whatsoever. On the ride home he had a hard time getting used to how loud everything was - lol! He did get one ear infection after that but has never had one since. He is now twenty. Last year he was diagnosed with sever asthma... we had no clue and he was even an athlete his entire childhood. It wasn't until the rigors of collage sports did he get tested when he was having difficulty keeping up with his teammates. I am sure that was a huge factor in his plight as a child.
My daughter was very different and sounds very much like what you are going through. as a newborn she started out the same as my son. She started getting ear infections but unlike my son, hers did not clear up with the use of antibiotics even when administered via injection. I have to say that I was very relieved that was the case. She got tubes at a very young age. It was a simple and non complicated surgery for her and she did not experience the turmoil her brother did all those years with his ear infections and antibiotic treatments. I do not for one minute regret either surgery and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Any preventative treatment administered to you child runs the risk of complications. Even vaccines and other mainstream care. We as parents have to make the difficult choices to do what we feel is best for them. It is not easy and it is not to be taken lightly. A friend of mine chose to have her 11 year old daughters tonsils removed. I would have done the same. Her daughter died on the operating table due to complications from the anesthesia. It is VERY rare but it DOES happen. You are smart to put much consideration into it.
I wish you the very best! Do know that whatever you choose to do it is the right decision for you. Only you know.

Emily - posted on 12/30/2014




We did this with our now3 year old. She was getting a lot of ear infections and doc said you can try and power through and ride the storm until she is older and her ear canals get bigger (she was 1 then) or do the surgery. We tried powering through but she was clearly in pain so we did the surgery in NY ear infirmary. The surgery was sad and scary but she had no pain afterwords and has not had a single infection since thank god.

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