Pediatricians estimate that ear infections are one of the most common reasons they see young children. Although earaches take on different forms, the most common is called otitis media, which means an infection in the middle ear.
Up until now there have always been questions on whether to treat a young child's ear pain with antibiotics. Many parents and some doctors shy away from giving a baby these medications because of side effects such as diarrhea and resistant bacteria
Now a revised version of earache guidelines has been published in this week's Journal of Pediatrics, providing a choice between antibiotics or observation if the ear infection is only on one side and the child has only mild symptoms.
However, if a baby, between the ages of 6 months and two years, has a temperature of 102 and-or acute pain in the ear, that little one should be given antibiotics.
Since the last revision of the guidelines back in 2004, child health experts have found this method to be the most effective in treating little ones with common earaches with more severe symptoms.