The new guidelines recommend doctors use stricter criteria to diagnose the common ear infection, allowing more time for observation, and more consideration of the severity symptoms.
The academy updated the previous guidelines, which were issued in 2004, in hopes this will enable doctors to prescribe antibiotics most effectively.
"They are allowing for a time for observation especially 24-48 hours if the child is having a fever or ear drainage or significant pain," said Dr. Nathan Box, D.O. Freeman Ear Nose & Throat Doctor.
Dr. Box adds the rate of ear infections in children tends to increase in the fall and winter since kids tend to be around their peers more often.