Your Baby Doesn't Always Need An Antibiotic, And In Fact, Too Many Antibiotics Can Be A Danger.
Antibiotics can be very useful, no one is debating this fact. However, antibiotics are also becoming far too over-used in...
Antibiotics can be very useful, no one is debating this fact. However, antibiotics are also becoming far too over-used in the United States, even for our youngest. Antibiotic over-use not only renders antibiotics less useful when your baby truly needs them, but creates other problems for everyone. As such, the CDC has created a very useful Get Smart campaign for parents and other folks about the safe use of antibiotics. Below are some common facts about antibiotic misuse and proper use. When should your baby NOT take antibiotics?: If your baby has a virus, she doesn't need antibiotics. Colds, flu, most sore throats, some ear infections, runny noses and bronchitis are caused by viruses. Antibiotics are totally useless when it comes to fighting viruses. Antibiotics are useful at fighting off bacteria-based infections and illnesses. If your baby has a virus, not a bacterial issue, antibiotics won't help. When should your baby TAKE antibiotics?: If your baby has an infection caused by bacteria, fungi or certain parasites (unlikely), then an antibiotic may be needed. The Mayo Clinic notes that antibiotics may be needed to treat the following - some ear infections, severe sinus infections, strep throat, urinary tract infections and many wound and skin infections. What if your baby is sick?: Antibiotics are not often the answer. See how to help a sick baby feel better without antibiotics. Do antibiotics help a baby feel better faster?: Nope. Antibiotics are meant to treat bacterial problems, not treat symptoms cause by viruses. What if your baby has an ear infection?: Ear infections, in the past, have frequently been treated with antibiotics. Now the American Academy of Pediatrics, along with other health organizations, frowns on routine use of antibiotics for ear infections. Some ear infections may need antibiotic treatment, but not all. What happens when your baby takes too many antibiotics?: Your baby may develop antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance occurs when too many antibiotics are used, and is one of the world’s most pressing public health problems. How does antibiotic resistance work?: each time your baby takes antibiotics, sensitive bacteria in your baby's system are killed. However, then antibiotic resistant germs may be left to grow and multiply. Repeated and improper uses of antibiotics are the primary causes of drug-resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance. What happens next is that an antibiotic may not work when your baby really needs it to. Antibiotic safety - what to do if your baby really does need an antibiotic:
- Give your baby the medication exactly as the doctor tells you to.
- ALWAYS complete the prescribed course of antibiotics. Your baby will likely feel better before the medicine is all gone, but do not throw the medication away. Your baby needs to finish the antibiotic, exactly as prescribed or she may become re-infected and sick again, except this time the medicine may not work as well.
- Do not save antibiotics for another time. If your baby has finished all the medication as prescribed, but there's some left (common) throw the extra out. Often you'll get a few extra doses in case of spills and such.