Children's ear infections cost the U.S. health care system nearly $3 billion a year, a new study says.
Researchers analyzed the medical records of 81.5 million children younger than 18 who received care in 2009. Of those, 8.7 million were seen for ear infections. Children with ear infections averaged two more outpatient visits, 0.2 more emergency visits and had 1.6 more prescriptions filled than those without ear infections.
Ear infections were associated with an extra $314 per child per year for outpatient care and an average of $17 in additional costs for medications. In total, ear infections cost $2.88 billion in 2009, according to the study in the January issue of the journal The Laryngoscope.
You'll Never Believe How Much We Spend a Year on Ear Infections
Has baby had an ear infection before? How many times have you had to treat an ear infection?