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Kids' Ear Infections Cost US Nearly $3 Billion

Fuse/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Kids' ear infections are a real pain, in more ways than one.

A new study from Mattel Children's Hospital University of California, Los Angeles says the yearly cost to the government for treating earaches in youngsters is a whopping $2.8 billion.

That breaks down to an average of $314 for everyone under 18 for outpatient health care. Meanwhile, another 17 bucks can be tacked on per kid for medications to treat ear infections.

While the study examined all children, it's predominantly preschoolers and those younger who are affected because of still-developing middle-ear drainage systems and other factors.

Antibiotics are often used to treat persistent ear infections although some medical experts question this practice since more bacteria are becoming resistant to the drugs.

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