Does acute otitis media (AOM) commonly occur in children?
Although anyone can develop a middle ear infection, most cases of AOM (~51%) occur in children under 5 years of age. 1 Factors that can increase the risk of a child developing a middle ear infection include: 2-3
- Sex (AOM is more common in males)
- Attending a nursery or daycare centre – this increases the chances of being exposed to infection from other children
- Passive smoking
- Lack of breast feeding (infants who are breast fed for as little as 3 months have less disease in the first year of life than children who are not breast fed)
- A family history of middle-ear infections
- Being fed while lying flat on their back
- Using a dummy after 11 months of age
- Having a cleft palate
- Down's syndrome
- Monasta L, et al. Burden of Disease Caused by Otitis Media: Systematic Review and Global Estimates. PLoS One 2012; 7: e36226.
- Koksal, Y, et al. Acute Otitis Media In Children. J Ankara Med Sch 2002; 95: 19–24.
- Kong K and Coates HLC. Natural history, definitions, risk factors and burden of otitis media. Available at: https://www.mja.com.au/system/files/issues/191_09_021109/coa10515_fm.pdf [Last accessed June 2015].