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Ear Infection? Antibiotics May Not Be Necessary.

antibiotics

Ear Infections Hurt!

Did you know that 8 million children visit a doctor annually because of ear infections and that ear infections are the No. 1 reason kids take antibiotics? Yet according to a recent analysis of earlier studies, antibiotics are unnecessary in the majority of these cases, reports USA Today.

In fact, 80 out of 100 children with ear infections will get better on their own in about three days, according to a review of 135 previously published studies in yesterday’s Journal of the American Medical Association.

The review found that antibiotics improve the “cure rate” minimally (92 out of 100 children) and in some cases, cause side effects such as a rash or diarrhea.

The larger problem is that over-prescribing antibiotics only fuels the growth of drug-resistant bacteria.

But often parents – especially ones who need to send their kids to day care or school so they can go to work – push doctors to prescribe antibiotics even when they’re unnecessary.

Many experts now recommend that doctors write a prescription, but advise parents to fill it only if the infection worsens or doesn’t improve within three days.

So what’s the best way to treat an ear infection? Ibuprofen. It won’t make the infection disappear, but it will help relieve the pain.

How do you treat your kids’ ear infections?

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photo: flickr/Facey Family

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