It's hard to wait it out if your child is in pain, but that's the advice from a new study at Yale when it comes to ear infections.
In the study, all the kids with ear infections were given ear drops and painkillers but one group was given antibiotics right away. The second group also got a prescription but parents were told only to fill it if the problem persisted. Most of them never used the antibiotics.
"Bottom line is both groups did equally well. There were no increased risk of complications in the wait-and-see group compared to the group of children who were treated with antibiotics," said Dr. Joseph Gigante of the Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.
Dr. Gigante agrees that often the problem is that parents insist on antibiotics. Doctors write 15 million prescriptions a year for ear infections in the US. The concern is that, if over-prescribed, the population as a whole will become resistant to antibiotics, and those medicines will no longer work when we need them.