New Guidelines Issued for Treating Kids’ Ear Infections

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Acute otitis media (AOM), a type of ear infection, is one of the most common illnesses in children.

For the last decade, doctors worried about over-prescribing antibiotics to young patients suffering with AOM advocated a watch-and-wait approach.  Now, the American Academy of Pediatrics has revised its recommendations.

Children six months and older should be given antibiotics immediately if the ear infection causes severe pain or a fever of 102.2 degrees or higher, the academy says.

The new guidelines, out Monday, also say breastfeeding for at least four months reduces ear infections -- so does eliminating exposure to tobacco smoke.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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