If your child gets an earache, antibiotics may not be the answer.
Monday the American Academy of Pediatrics issued new recommendations on how to treat ear infections.
Doctors now say to hold off on the antibiotics for children older than six months.
Health officials want to preserve the healing power of antibiotics by using them in children who benefit most. They also want to give children the opportunity to improve on their own.
According to the new AAP guidelines, children over six months old with earaches should get antibiotics if:
- They have a history of frequent ear infections
- Their fever is higher than 102.2
- Their pain lasts longer than two days
- They have a bulging ear drum
Without these symptoms, an earache is mostly likely caused by a virus, allergies, even teething. In these cases, it is safe to put off seeing the doctor and taking antibiotics.
For children with multiple ear infections, tubes implanted in the ear can help drain fluid while also allowing air into the middle ear to ward off future infections.
There are a few things you can do to prevent your child from getting ear infections:
- Make sure your child is up to date on their vaccines
- Make sure your child gets vaccinated against the flu and pneumonia and as soon as they are eligible
- Exclusively breast feed up to six months of age
- Avoid exposing your child to tobacco smoke