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Should I give my child antibiotics for an ear infection?

Oftentimes, ear infections are treated with antibiotics. It's very common in children under the age of 2. However, once you get above the age of 2, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a watch-and-wait approach. If children are over the age of 2 and can communicate, a lot of times they will clear their ear infections on their own without antibiotics. If you can control pain with something such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, and watch for 48 hours, most kids will clear their ear infections. If after watching them for 48 hours, their pain is still there, antibiotics can be started. In this era of antibiotics resistance, this watch-and-wait approach can be very good for your child.
Your child may not need antibiotics for an ear infection (otitis media). In light of concerns over overprescribing antibiotics and their effects on the child’s microbiome (the bacteria living on and inside the body), the American Academy of Pediatrics revised its evidence-based clinical practice guidelines in 2013 to tighten the criteria for diagnosing otitis media. The child’s eardrum must be clearly bulging, not just pink or red, before antibiotics are considered an appropriate treatment. And the guidelines suggest a wait-and-see approach for older children with bulging eardrums who do not have significant pain or high fever.
 
The guidelines reflect an emphasis on maintaining healthier microbiomes, which support healthy immune systems, and avoiding breeding resistant bacteria.

This content originally appeared online at Baptist Health South Florida.
https://baptisthealth.net/baptist-health-news/ear-infections-young-children-decline/?cat=life

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.