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Wait and Hear: Letting Ear Infections Clear without Antibiotics

ABC News - Healthology (Internet / TV) June 6, 2005

Ear infections are a common complaint of young children, and most have had at least one by the time they are three years old. Parents generally act quickly on ear pain, taking their child to the pediatrician for an antibiotic prescription. However, new research suggests that forgoing the antibiotic and simply monitoring your child's condition may be a useful strategy. The latest evidence comes from study published today in Pediatrics, which showed that about two-thirds of childhood ear infections resolved without the use of antibiotics. Since 60 percent of all antibiotics are prescribed for U.S. children with ear infections, "watchful waiting" may prevent the overuse of antibiotics and the subsequent rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, said David McCormick, MD, professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas and lead author of the study.

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