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Why the Number of Infant Ear Infections is Declining

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(NEW YORK) — Ear infections are one of the most common reasons babies visit to the pediatrician – that may change, though, because these infections are becoming less common.

In a new study published in Pediatrics, researchers at the University of Texas think they have found the reasons why; the introduction of PCV13 (pneumococcal) vaccine in 2010, decreasing rates of smoking exposure, and an increase in breastfeeding rates.

The researchers looked at upper respiratory infections (the common cold) and ear infections in more than 300 infants between 0 to 12 months of age. The overall incidence of both has decreased when compared to studies published in the late 1980’s and 1990’s. There was a big decline in ear infections in children at 3 months of age (decreased by more than half), a 10 percent decline for 6-month-old babies, and a 15 percent dip in children at 12 months old.

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