Infection of the middle ear is one of the most common preventable causes of deafness. Children are particularly prone to middle-ear infection, because their Eustachian tubes, which ventilate the middle ear and drain off fluids, are narrow and can become blocked easily.
Prevent infection of the middle ear by not putting your baby or toddler to bed with a bottle. Milk that runs into the ear may cause infection. Also don't allow children who have grommets to swim or bath without wearing good plastic or silicone earplugs. If water that contains bacteria gets into the inner ear they could end up with an ear infection and possibly deafness.
[This tip was originally published in the Spring 2007 edition of YOU Pulse / Huisgenoot-Pols magazine. The summer 2007/8 edition is on sale now.]
Read more: Can your child hear you?