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New AAP Guidelines for Pediatric Ear Infections

Previous guidance published in 2004 (Feb. 25)

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated its guidelines for treating acute otitis media (AOM) — a type of ear infection that is one of the most common illnesses in U.S. children. The evidence-based clinical guidelines — published online in Pediatrics — provides recommendations to physicians managing uncomplicated AOM in children aged 6 months through 12 years.

Compared with the previous guidelines, issued in 2004, the new guidelines highlight more stringent criteria to use in making an accurate diagnosis of AOM, which will enable clinicians to prescribe antibiotics more effectively, according to the authors.

The focus of the new guidelines is on the appropriate diagnosis and initial treatment of a child presenting with AOM. The recommendations address pain management, initial observation versus antibiotic treatment, appropriate choices of antibiotic agents, and preventive measures. The guidelines also address recurrent AOM, which was not included in the 2004 recommendations.

Sources: AAP; February 25, 2013; and Pediatrics; February 25, 2013.

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