Published On: Tue, Feb 26th, 2013

Pediatricians issue new guidelines on treating ear infections

Ear infections, or acute otitis media (AOM) is a very common childhood infection, in fact, it affects three out of four kids by the time they are three years old.


Public domain photo/Earpiercing via Wikimedia Commons

Public domain photo/Earpiercing via Wikimedia Commons

The largest pediatric group in the US, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)  has issued new treatment guidelines for physicians dealing with this common ailment, and advising parents to monitoring their children for three days before seeking medical care.

The guidelines, The Diagnosis and Management of Acute Otitis Media, just published yesterday in the jounal, Pediatrics, offer some of the following key points concerning management of AOM.

For example, children ages 6 months to 2 years with an infection in one ear who don’t have a high fever, severe pain or other complications can be watched for 48 hours without antibiotic treatment to see if the infection gets worse, according to the updated guidelines.

They say pediatricians should only diagnose an ear infection in children who come to the doctor with moderate to severe bulging of the eardrum. Kids who experience mild bulging and recent pain (within 48 hours) who are showing other signs of an ear infection may also be diagnosed.

These and other recommendations are designed to  prevent the overuse of antibiotics, which in some cases is creating resistant strains of bacteria.


The AAP clearly states that this clinical practice guideline is not intended as a sole source of guidance in the management of children with AOM. Rather, it is intended to assist primary care clinicians by providing a framework for clinical decision-making. It is not intended to replace clinical judgment or establish a protocol for all children with this condition.

For more details on the recommendations, see the guidelines here.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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