By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – Ear infections are incredibly common among young kids and many get them multiple times a year, but for how long do they need to be treated?

In children under 2, ear infections are usually treated with oral antibiotics for 10 days. But antibiotics can cause an upset stomach and rashes and there’s always the concern for antibiotic resistance, so doctors wanted to see if kids would do just as well with 5 days of treatment instead of 10.

The answer is probably “no”.

In a recent study they found that children less than 2 years of age treated with only 5 days of antibiotic therapy were more likely to have persistent infections compared to children treated with the more standard 10 days of therapy.

Children over 2 are often treated with shorter courses successfully.

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