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Can a dirty house be the cause of ear infections?

My neighbors have a terribly dirty house. I don't mean toys, clothes, unwashed dishes the "normal" dirty. Their house is disgusting. They have rotting food everywhere, trash all over the floor, old gross dirty diapers, and so on. They have 9 people living in a small 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home. The 5 month old is seemingly always sick. I talked to her mother earlier today and she has another ear infection. This is the ninth one she has had in the short 5 months of her life.
Can a dirty house be the cause of all these infections? I know people are going to lecture me to mind my own business and not to judge my neighbors, and so on. I am truly concerned for this little girl's health.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 6:09 PM on Jun. 17, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

Answers (7)
  • I don't know if it can cause an ear infection, but it is not good for the kid! Call CPS. That's gross.

    Answer by feesharose at 6:11 PM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • I'm sure it could. Dust can cause allergies and allgeries can put pressure on sinuses which can lead to ear infections. Also- when parents lay the baby on its back and let it eat its bottle like that.. that causes ear infections as well.

    Answer by amy31308 at 6:11 PM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • That sounds more like child abuse. The kids living in a petri dish.


    Answer by Farrahann at 6:12 PM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • That's not a good living situation for any of them and it should be looked into by CPS.

    As for the ear infections...those are caused when fuild builds up in the ear and becomes infected. I don't think it has anything to do with a dirty environment, however, I think that with an evironment like that, it's more likely that the baby will get sick from all the bacteria and germs in the home.

    Answer by ReneeK3 at 6:13 PM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • Despite my home being just the "normal" dirty, my child still has chronic ear infections (sometimes they are severe). But, I would imagine that if the house is really nasty and is growing mold and mildew, then it could be contributing to the child's illnesses. Mold and mildew cause upper respiratory problems. Sinus infections can lead to ear infections..... so yes, there could be a connection. JMHO

    PS- do they smoke in the house?


    Answer by VeronicaLee at 6:15 PM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • If it's as gross as you say, call CPS. A little dirt and dust is good for kids. A lot isn't - especially if it's human waste and rotten food.

    Can this be causing the infections? Probably not but you never know. Some kids are just more prone to them. But a poor diet and little care will add to the child's health problems.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 6:17 PM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • I agree with everyone else. The ear infections may not be directly caused by the mess, but they may be a result of it. If there is a lot of dust, or mold growing it can cause allergies which create more mucus which causes ear infections. Also the bacteria growing can cause the little one to get more colds and the colds can cause ear infections also.
    I don't know these people, obviously, but the lack of care and concern they show for their house leads me to logically wonder if they treat their children in the same manner. Especially one so small and helpless. If they can't throw out dirty diapers than how well do they care for the baby?
    I agree that if you are truly concerned for the baby's health and what you have said about their house is true it is your moral responsibility to get CPS involved. Just because they investigate doesn't mean the children will be taken away. CPS will decide if the home is fit for children.

    Answer by AnnaMac at 6:37 PM on Jun. 17, 2009

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