Major pediatric organizations now recommend an observational approach to the treatment of ear infections for certain patients. Current guidelines state this approach should be considered as an option for children from six months to two years old who are having mild pain in one ear that has been present for less than forty-eight hours. The approach is also recommended for children over two years old who have had mild pain in one or both ears that has lasted for less than forty-eight hours.
To use this treatment on children of any age, doctors must check the patient's temperature to ensure it is lower than 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Patients with fevers above this threshold will require different treatment. During observation, the child will be monitored at home by their parents, and a second examination should be completed by a doctor if symptoms do not improve after forty-eight hours.