Doctors' group issues new guidelines on treating ear infections in kids
7:10 AM, Feb 25, 2013
8:56 AM, Feb 25, 2013
(WXYZ) - The American Academy of Pediatrics is issuing new guidelines for doctors on how to treat and diagnose ear infections in children.
Researchers say 75% of children will get an ear infection before the age of three.
The organization says doctors are prescribing antibiotics too often because many ear infections go away on their own.
The overuse of antibiotics is a leading contributor of drug-resistant bacteria, the group says.
The Academy is now recommending different treatment options based on a child's age and symptoms.
According to the guidelines, children should be prescribed antibiotics right away if they have a fever higher than 102 degrees, if they have a ruptured ear drum with drainage, or if the child is two years old and younger and has infections in both ears.
In other cases, doctors are being told to observe the infection for a few days, and if symptoms don't improve in 72 hours, prescribe an antibiotic.