Antibiotics save lives, but many of them are not needed, according to Dr. Shannon Cohen with Children’s Hospital. On top of the, overusing them can be dangerous. Cohen said many parents expect a prescription for antibiotics every time they take their child to a pediatrician, and some are disappointed or even angry when they don’t leave with one.
Overprescribing antibiotics can cause a resistance to build up, which means bacteria won’t respond to antibiotics that may have worked in the past, said Cohen. It’s a growing problem
Side effects from the drugs can actually cause your child to feel worse than the actual illness they’re trying to battle. These side effects include upset stomach, diarrhea and allergic reactions. Some of the reactions can even be serious.
You should still take your child to the doctor, even if you think they just have a virus, said Cohen. Only a doctor can determine if it’s a bacterial infection or a virus making your child ill. Even if antibiotics aren’t prescribed your child’s pediatrician can tell you which over the counter medications may help your child feel better while an illness runs its course
If your child is prescribed antibiotics, use them safely. Make sure you give them to your child as prescribed, even if your child feels better after a few days. Never save antibiotics to use later. And never use another person’s prescription.
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