Happy Antibiotic Awareness Month! Every November the CDC and other healthcare organizations take the time to remind caregivers about the dangers of antibiotics and why overusing them can be detrimental to your child’s health.
According to the CDC, when antibiotics aren’t needed, they won’t help.
- Antibiotics have the ability to save lives
- Antibiotics aren’t always the answer when someone is ill
- Antibiotics DO NOT work on viruses
- Antibiotics are only needed when treating infections caused by BACTERIA
- If you have a virus the antibiotics will not make you feel better
- Take antibiotics as prescribed
- With some life-threatening conditions, antibiotics are critical
All medications carry the risk of side effects. Common side effects of antibiotics include rash, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, and secondary yeast infections. According to the CDC, in children, reactions from antibiotics are the most common cause of medication-related emergency room visits. What happens when antibiotics are prescribed unnecessarily? Overuse of antibiotics leads to antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria find ways to combat the antibiotics that are used to kill them. Finding an effective antibiotic to treat resistant forms of bacteria can be very difficult. In some cases, resistant forms of bacteria will cause life-threatening illnesses.
I know it is frustrating as a parent to continuously be told that your child’s frequent episodes of cough, runny nose, and nasal congestion are due to a virus. As parents, we have an innate need to protect our children and to do everything to help our children feel better when they are sick. A child who is ill needs evaluation by a healthcare provider in order to determine the best course of action.
In some instances, antibiotics will be required in order to treat specific bacterial infections. In many other cases, your healthcare provider will not prescribe antibiotics because this medication will not be helpful in treating a viral illness. Please trust in your child’s health care provider and in the evidence-based guidelines. If you are concerned about a recommended course of treatment, ask questions. We all have the same goal: to make your child healthy!
Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care opened in 2006 in San Antonio, Texas. With multiple locations in San Antonio and Dallas, they are open seven days a week with extended evening hours and see walk-in patients or through an online check-in system. They accept most commercial insurance and Medicaid plans. More information about Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care can be found at www.littlespurspedi.com.