November 21, 2017
Baby asleep on mums shoulder
Wellness Tip

Preventing Ear Infections in Babies

by Berkeley Wellness  

Good news for parents of infants: Babies in the U.S. are having fewer ear infections than a generation ago, according to a study from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, published in Pediatrics.

Researchers followed 367 babies during their first year and found that 46 percent had at least one ear infection (acute otitis media). Studies from the 1980s and 1990s found the rate to be 60 percent.

The researchers attributed the improvement to increased and longer breastfeeding, routine infant vaccinations against pneumococcal infection and influenza, and reduced exposure to secondhand smoke. By reducing the risk of respiratory infections in children, these factors help reduce bacterial complications, including ear infections.

The leading cause of visits to doctors by children, ear infections are the most common reason why children are given antibiotics or undergo surgery.

Also see Do All Ear Infections Need Antibiotics?