Tag Archive for 'flu'

Get Smart About Antibiotics

Courtesy sparktography, flickr

It is Get Smart About Antiobitics Week, and the CDC and the AAP are teaming up to inform the public that antibiotic use when not needed can cause more harm than good. Widespread inappropriate use of antibiotics has led to an increase in drug-resistant bacteria, cited by the CDC as one of the world’s most pressing public health problems. Over the last decade, almost every type of bacteria has become stronger and less resistant to antibiotic treatment.
Both organizations have expressed particular concern because antibiotics are used all too frequently in children. In fact, children have the highest rates of antibiotic use. They also have the highest rate of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant pathogens.
For ways to reduce antibiotic usage and resistance, the CDC offers the following tips:
  • 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.
If your child suffers from a viral infection, consider these tips for ways to relieve symptoms:
  • 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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