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Health Tip: Ear Infection May Not Need Antibiotic

But your child must be examined by a doctor

(HealthDay News) - If your child has an ear infection, it's important to take the child to a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. The pediatrician will determine if the infection is bacterial or viral.

Here are suggestions on how to treat your child's ear infection, courtesy of the American Academy of Family Physicians:

  • If the infection is bacterial, your doctor probably will prescribe an antibiotic.
  • If the infection is viral, an antibiotic won't treat it, so prescribing one may be counterproductive.
  • You can give your child a pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Don't give your child aspirin, unless the doctor says so.
  • Apply a warm heating pad to the ear to relieve pain.
  • The doctor may prescribe ear drops.
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