Ear Infections: Don't Rush Antibiotics

11.29.10 Study shows antibitoics for children's ear infections may not be worth the side effects.

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New research shows that most ear infections actually heal on their own despite the high rate at which most doctors prescribe antibiotics to speed healing, USA Today reports. However, according to findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, antibiotics only slightly improved the cure rate.

Researchers found that 80 out of 100 children with ear infections got better on their own in three days, USA Today says. Using antibiotics, 92 out of 100 children improved at the same rate.

However, experts agree that the side effects of antibiotics in children (medication-related rashes, diarrhea, increasing resistance to the drug) outweigh the benefits of use in this case.

Make no mistake, your child is likely to get an ear infection in her first few years. Read through our expert tips on how to figure out the signs if your baby has an ear infection. Instead of antibiotics, try one of these alternative remedies.

Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor.