Health Tip: Treating Ear Infections in Children

Antibiotics may not always be necessary

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(HealthDay News) -- Middle ear infections are a common childhood ailment, affecting three of four youngsters in the United States by age 3.

Many times, in otherwise healthy children, doctors will not prescribe antibiotics and will wait for the infection to clear up on its own, the Nemours Foundation says. But all cases should be evaluated by a physician.

In children with recurring ear infections, ear tubes may be surgically inserted to help reduce the buildup of fluid in the ear.

Children may also be prescribed an antibiotic for bacterial ear infections -- although an antibiotic will not remedy the condition when it's caused by a virus.

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