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The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is updating its guidelines for treating acute otitis media (AOM), the type of ear infection that is one of the most common illnesses in U.S. children. The evidence-based clinical guideline, The Diagnosis and Management of Acute Otitis Media, published in the March 2013 Pediatrics and released online Feb. 25, provides recommendations to physicians managing uncomplicated AOM in children ages 6 months through 12 years.
Compared to 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 most effectively. The guidelines include recommendations for treatment with antibiotics and pain relievers, or observation alone, based on the childs age and severity of symptoms.