Eight out of 10 children have had at least one ear infection by the time they are three, keeping a steady stream of pint sized patients at the pediatrician’s and family doctor’s office.
“Its quite frequent, at least one or two per day and certain seasons of the year it will be significantly more than that.” Dr. Charles Washington said.
That season is starting now. Libby Knopp’s children had chronic ear infections. “They're always pulling on their ears. They are just whinny and fussy, of course it takes the doctor to tell you it at first, but after a while, you know the symptoms,” she says.
The loss of sleep by the baby translates into a loss of sleep for hard working moms and dads. Research is now being done to develop an ear infection vaccination. One that would save small children from an aching ear, parents from a lost night’s sleep, and employers lost productivity.
“The biggest potential for a vaccine to prevent ear infections would be the tremendous economic losses with parents staying home and mothers missing work” Dr. Washington said.
Researchers hope the vaccine, in combination with current strep vaccines, will leave the common cold as the number one cause of respiratory diseases.