Page last updated: 15 July 2020

Strong hearing, strong start.

Ear disease is serious. It can lead to loss of hearing forever.

Kids are not born with ear infections, but they can get an ear infection soon after birth.

Kids might have ear disease if they:

  • have a cold (runny nose, coughing, sore throat)
  • pain or fever
  • runny fluid or pus from their ear.

Get your kids’ ears checked if they:

  • are pulling at their ears
  • can’t hear you properly
  • have diarrhoea or vomiting, or aren’t eating.

Even if kids have no symptoms, you should get their ears checked regularly.

Ear disease can be prevented and treated.


  • get ears checked
  • wash hands and faces
  • blow nose and put tissues in the bin and eat healthy food.


  • smoke around kids
  • put anything in kids’ ears.

With healthy ears kids can:

  • learn language
  • talk
  • read
  • listen.

Keep kids’ ears healthy by getting them checked regularly by a health worker, nurse or doctor and following their advice about treatments.