Summertime means more ear infections

(NEWS CENTER) -- With summer and swimming season upon us, the risk for ear infections rise, especially with children. Diane Atwood of Catching Health said when her daughter Stephanie was a child, she always seemed to have an ear infection. Atwood said she took one antibiotic after another until she had tubes put in at 3-years-old.

Even though antibiotics for ear infections used to be standard practice, Atwood shared the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians said other methods should be tried first. Both academies said most ear infections in children begin to get better within the first 24 to 72 hours and the only treatment needed is something to relieve the pain.

For most children over the age of two, pain relievers include:

- Acetaminophen

- Ibuprofen

- Heat

- Analgesic drops

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend trying an antibiotic if the pain lasts beyond 72 hours.

Atwood said there is a national campaign called Choosing Wisely, the local campaign is called Maine Quality Counts, that advocates patient-doctor conversations about care. Atwood said many people accept doctors recommendations without understanding the intentions behind it.

Choosing Wisely and Maine Quality Counts recommend asking doctors these five questions:

1. Do I really need this test or procedure?

2. What are the risks?

3. Are there simpler, safer options?

4. What happens if I don't do anything?

5. How much does it cost?

For more about quality of care, visit Atwood's website,


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