To treat or not to treat?

Otitis media is one of the more common conditions receiving antibiotic treatment in young children. 

The decision to treat with oral antibiotics or use a watchful waiting approach has caused much controversy in recent years.

A number of prominent committees and colleges from Europe, the US and Australasia have come out in favour of the watchful waiting policy advocated by the Europeans in the past 15–20 years because of the prevalence of viral upper respiratory tract infections causing fever and malaise in this age group.