Ear, nose and throat problems can come from unexpected sources, wrote UTMB’s Dr. Harold Pine. Though a common part of growing up, if ENT infections are recurrent, complications arise or prescribed treatment doesn’t work, parents should consult an otolaryngologist to find the root cause. “Allergies block the Eustachian tube, which runs from the nose to the ear, causing swelling. If a child has a stuffy nose, it will likely lead to stuffy ears. … Ear infections aren’t contagious, but cold and flu viruses that can lead to ear infections circulate rapidly at daycare. Teach children good hygiene habits, like washing their hands, and regularly washing and disinfecting surface areas. Most importantly, keep sick children at home.”