- Talk to your doctor about the best treatment for your child’s illness. Use antibiotics only when your doctor has determined that they are likely to be effective. Antibiotics won’t cure most colds, coughs, sore throats, or runny noses.
- Don’t expect to get a prescription for antibiotics. A recent study found that doctors prescribed antibiotics 65 percent of the time when they perceived that the parent expected a prescription, and only 12 percent of the time when they did not perceive that they were expected.
- Antibiotics are powerful medicines and should only be used to treat bacterial infections. If an antibiotic is prescribed, make sure you take the entire course as directed even if symptoms disappear. If treatment stops too soon, some bacteria may survive and re-infect.
- Do not save any antibiotics for the next time you or your child get sick. Discard any leftover medication once you have completed your prescribed course.
- Do not take antibiotics prescribed for someone else. The antibiotic may not be appropriate for your illness, and taking the wrong medication can delay proper treatment allowing bacteria to multiply.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Increase fluid intake.
- Use a clean humidifier or cool mist vaporizer.
- Avoid smoking, second-hand smoke, and other pollutants.
- Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve pain. See here for information regarding what is safe to give your child.
- For ear pain, put a warm moist cloth over the ear that hurts.
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