The majority cases of an ear infection in a child are caused by viruses, making 10 days of antibiotics unnecessary for most kids. Antibiotics are associated with their own set of side effects like diarrhea, allergic reactions and in some cases serum sickness.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has advocated “watchful waiting” for some time now in relation to children and ear infections. So, if your child is over 2 years of age and has a fever of less than 102, does not have severe ear pain or ear drainage, watchful waiting is a great option. You basically sit tight for 48 hours addressing pain with ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Most ear infections will resolve on their own. If symptoms get worse, it might be time to consider antibiotics. Watchful waiting recommendations also exist for babies 6 months to 2 years but are more conservative.
Recommendations for the Initial Treatment of Otitis Media
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