[Parentsgroup-list] ear infections and antibiotics

Ayfer Karakaya Stump stump at fas.harvard.edu
Mon Nov 5 11:05:45 EST 2007

Dear Emily,

It is quite striking how pediatrician can differ in their approach to 
the use of antibiotics to treat ear infections. My experience with our 
pediatrician has been just the opposite, as he seems to be ready to 
prescribe antibiotics even in very mild cases. Considering that there is 
no consensus on the issue among doctors, I feel that as parents we 
should have some say in deciding whether their use is really warranted 
in each individual episode. Overall I think antibiotics should be used 
in cases when the child is obviously experiencing unbearable pain, but 
not in mild cases when the pain is not as severe.


Emily Qazilbash wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> Our almost-4-year-old ended up in the ER after several hours of 
> unexplained (to us) screaming on Sat. night, and it turns out she has 
> an ear infection. She had no other symptoms before this ER trip, but 
> then yesterday she developed the high fever, etc that often comes with 
> the virus that might cause an ear infection.
> The ER doctor said he wouldn't recommend antibiotics to treat this ear 
> infection, and I remember our pediatrician saying something a while 
> ago about antibiotics sometimes not being necessary. We've only had 
> one ear infection between our two kids, thankfully, so I don't know 
> much about treatment options. We did give antibiotics for that one, 
> three years ago.
> I'm happy to not have our daughter on antibiotics, and she seems 
> better this morning after 24 hours of a high fever and pain. However, 
> after googling the topic, I'm just curious what others have done. I 
> know I can call our pediatrician and I may do that.
> Thanks!
> Emily Kalejs Qazilbash
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