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Ear Tubes Not Usually Necessary to Prevent Developmental Problems in Kids

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine provides even more evidence against the use of ear tubes in children with fluid in their ears (as a result of ear infections). Just a few years ago, about 1 million kids in North America would have ear tubes inserted every year, a surgery that was once the second-most-common operation performed in the United States.

The reasoning behind the tubes was that they would prevent developmental abnormalities in children whose hearing had been impaired. However, as I reported back in 2001, and as this new study has found, inserting ear tubes does not make a difference in most children’s behavioral and speech development.

Among the toddlers in the study, half received ear tubes immediately for their fluid-filled ears, while the other half waited between six and nine months. After 10 years, both groups scored equally as well in literacy, attention, social skills and academic achievement.

If your child suffers from ear infections, check out my past article Secrets for Treating and Preventing Ear Infections for some great tips.

New England Journal of Medicine January 18, 2007

Yahoo News January 18, 2007