4 Things Antibiotics Do To Your Child
Antibiotics have their place in certain situations, where a severe bacterial infection is present, and all other options have been explored. However, there are consequences to taking antibiotics, especially for your little one.
1. Kill Infections
There are times when antibiotics can be life – saving. One example is severe bacterial pneumonia. However, it is important that parents ask questions and avoid unnecessary antibiotics. Most of the time viral illnesses are not followed by bacterial infections and common cold symptoms can often be mistaken for bacterial infections. Tracking and discussing the course of your child’s illness can help your provider determine if antibiotics are right for your child.
For example, it is normal for nasal mucous to change colors from yellow to green, and for the child to have fever. However, if fever has been 102 or higher for 3 or 4 days and the cold has been around for a couple of weeks, this could be sinusitis and may warrant antibiotics.
Have your child evaluated in the provider’s office. It is extremely important for parents to work with their provider to prevent colds and flu, monitor their children, and have them evaluated properly prior to initiating antibiotic therapy!
2. Increases The Risk of Allergies and Asthma
Sadly, more recent studies are showing that that early antibiotic use is associated with increased risk of developing asthma and allergy in childhood. Researchers from the University of Helsinki say it may even take up to a year or two to recover from one course of antibiotics – specifically with macrolide antibiotics there is an increased risk of asthma and increased body mass index. It never hurts to get a second opinion from another provider to be sure antibiotics are the right choice for your child or if a more natural option is possible.
3. Decreases Healthy Gut Flora
We know that having a diverse microbiome is an important aspect of health. Gut microbes help us to digest food, make vitamins, ward off pathogens, and more. Antibiotic use wipes out a lot of the beneficial bacteria that help keep children healthy! This creates susceptibility for candida (a type of yeast) and other bacterial imbalances such as SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. These overgrowths can contribute to a range of issues such as malabsorption and leaky gut which can lead to systemic inflammation- opening the door for acute and chronic health concerns.
4. Contributes to the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria
Antibiotic resistance has become a major problem in our modern society. Infections that are resistant to typical antibiotics can be acquired by anyone. Treatment often includes drugs that are very toxic!
Antibiotic resistance can occur simply by using antibiotics, which is why only using when necessary, and using the correct duration and dose is very important. There is a link between antibiotics given to food-producing animals and antibiotic resistance in humans as well, so we can see how misuse of antibiotics affects our environment and children. The Center for Disease Control says that antibiotics are misused nearly 50% of the time at the time of this writing!
The moral of the story here is to ask questions, and work with your provider to find more natural solutions when possible. Of course, it is nearly impossible to avoid antibiotics completely for your whole life, but the amount of times you actually need them can be lessened.
Want to Dive Deeper?
Are you not sure that you can find a provider that won’t reach for antibiotics as a first option for your child? We can help.
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So what will you find as a patient at our office?
- Longer appointments with your provider
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As you can see, at CentreSpringMD, we are committed to a new model of medicine with true patient centered, collaborative care – a safe place for your child to get the care they deserve.
|Rosi Patel is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner who joined CentreSpring MD in early 2017 and is excited to be part of a group of like-minded professionals. Prior to joining the CentreSpring family, she spent 8 years as an emergency room nurse and other various acute and ambulatory settings.|
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