Antibiotic Awareness: Ear Infection or Acute Otitis Media


(upbeat electronic music) – Did you know that
you can reduce risks for ear infections in children
by taking three simple steps? Breastfeeding children
for at least six months, providing routine, on-time
childhood vaccinations, and avoiding exposure
to cigarette smoke risks for ear
infections go down. – Hi, I’m Dr. Wendy Sue
Swanson in partnership with the Washington State
Department of Health. I’m here to talk
about ear infections. How we treat them, and how
to avoid using antibiotics when we don’t need them. The most important thing
for you to remember about ear infections is that
they often go away on their own because ear infections are
often caused by viruses, like the common cold. We often don’t have to use
antibiotics to treat them, particularly in older kids. If your child’s
over the age of two, and develops fever and ear pain, we can often wait
a couple of days and not use antibiotics
because most kids will get better on their own. The most important
thing for you to do in the first day or
two of an ear infection is to provide pain relief. You can use acetaminophen
or ibuprofen with your doctor’s permission. However, if your
child’s under age two, and develops fever and ear pain, you should see a health
care provider right away. Other situations where we do
want to use antibiotics include when an ear infection
is so severe that it causes the eardrum
to rupture and drain fluid, and with kids who
have an ear infection and are not treated initially, but go on to have ear pain or
fever after two to three days. Antibiotics can sometimes
cause more harm than good. They’ll kill off good bacteria and lead to
antibiotic resistance, meaning antibiotics
will no longer work to kill that type of bacteria. If we avoid antibiotics
when we don’t need them, we keep our children,
our families, and our community healthier. I’m Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson
in partnership with the Washington State
Department of Health. (upbeat electronic music)

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