KCBS_740 SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Parents know the frustration of trying to get that gunky pink antibiotic into a tot screaming from an ear infection. A one-time squirt of special ear drops one day might replace that ordeal.

It’s only been tried in animals – chinchillas, to be exact. But researchers report Wednesday that an antibiotic gel coated the animals’ eardrums and slowly seeped inside to clear up infection.

If the approach pans out when tested in children, it could replace 10 days of oral antibiotics, and help prevent development of antibiotic-resistant infections. Too often, parents stop treatment once their youngster starts feeling better, allowing lingering bacteria to bounce back stronger.

Middle ear infections, called otitis media, result in at least 12 million doctor visits annually. The research was reported in Science Translational Medicine.

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