A new health recommendation says no more antibiotics for ear infections and parents shouldn’t give pain relief to reduce a fever.
News.com.au reports, in a decision that will be confronting for many parents who have suffered through a screaming child with pain from an ear infection, the new recommendation is totally against routine use of antibiotics for ear pain in kids aged two — 12.
“Regardless of whether one or both eardrums are red or bulging, antibiotics do not reduce pain at 24 hours,” the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners says.
Instead, parents should use paracetamol or ibuprofen to control the pain, antibiotics should only be given if the child has a fever, is vomiting or lethargic says the Royal Australian College General Practitioners’ president Dr Frank Jones.
Parents may also be shocked to hear a recommendation by the Australian College of Nursing not to give kids paracetamol or ibuprofen to bring down their temperature when they are ill.
“The benefits of fever in slowing the growth and replication of bacteria and viruses are well documented,” says the Australian College of Nursing.
Medicine should only be used to reduce fever if the child is uncomfortable or distressed the college says.
The Choosing Wisely campaign also calls for the practice of prescribing antibiotics to infants with a fever to stop because it is not only ‘low value’ but “can be dangerous, in delaying presentation to hospital by inappropriately reassuring patients”.
One in 14 kids have side effects from antibiotics and their overuse is fuelling the rise of antibiotic resistant infections.
Australian Medical Association president Professor Brian Owler said the Choosing Wisely campaign acknowledged the role of doctors as stewards of the health system.
“We’ve looked at the evidence and come up with recommendations that certain practices are not providing the best value,” he said.
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