Hesperian Health Guides
Prevention of Deafness
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In this chapter:
- Take steps to prevent ear infection (teach the child not to blow her nose hard when she has a cold). Treat ear infections at once when a child gets them. If the child has frequent ear infections, see a health worker or ‘ear doctor’. Do not put leaves or plugs of cotton in an infected ear. Let the pus run out. See p. 309 in Where There Is No Doctor.
- During pregnancy, do not take medicines that might harm the baby. Tell the health worker or doctor you are pregnant, and ask him to check if the medicine he prescribes is recommended during pregnancy.
- Vaccinate girls and women against German measles (rubella) before they get pregnant (but never when pregnant). Or let young girls catch German measles by letting them play or sleep with a child who has them. This will give them a ‘natural’ vaccination. Pregnant women should avoid getting near anyone with German measles.
- Have regular medical check-ups during pregnancy.
- Eat as well as possible before and during pregnancy, use iodized salt, and include foods rich in iron and other vitamins and minerals.
- Look for signs of hypothyroidism in the baby, and treat it early.
- Vaccinate the baby against measles (and, if possible, mumps).
- Take precautions to prevent brain damage and cerebral palsy.
- Never put, or let the child put, pointed objects in the ears.
- Avoid being near very loud noises. When a child cannot avoid them, teach him to cover his ears, or use ear plugs.
This page was updated:21 Nov 2019