At Little Spurs, we LOVE antibiotics! When they are used appropriately. Did you know – one in three antibiotics prescribed are actually unnecessary? This week is US Antibiotic Awareness Week, and we want to take this opportunity to address common myths associated with antibiotics.
Antibiotics will improve my child’s illness.
- Antibiotics are potent medications that help us treat bacterial infections. They do not work for viruses.
- Viral illnesses in children include: Colds, Hand Foot and Mouth Disease, Influenza, most sore throats, and most rashes.
Certain symptoms always equals bacterial infections and antibiotics.
- A runny nose with green/yellow mucous or sore throat does not automatically mean a bacterial infection
- Viruses can cause similar symptoms and do not require antibiotics
- Use the chart above to determine if your child needs antibiotics
Positive tests always equals infection.
- In certain situations, this may represent colonization or contamination- commonly seen in urine and strep tests.
- Just because your child tested positive it does not mean they actually have the illness- this represents a false positive.
- For example: If your child has a positive test for strep throat, we will send it out to be cultured to confirm the diagnosis. In some cases, if the culture comes back negative, you will be asked to stop giving them the antibiotic.
- Your child’s symptoms are taken into consideration before treating.
- We want to avoid over-testing, therefore your child may not require a test.
Antibiotics are not harmful
- In children who go to the Emergency Department, for adverse reactions, antibiotics are the most common reason for the visit.
- Studies show that up to 1/3 of children received inappropriate antibiotics which increased their risk for adverse events and cost to you and the healthcare system.
- Just because a family member received antibiotics for their illness, it does not mean your child needs the same for theirs. Trust your healthcare provider.
- There is a risk when prescribing antibiotics, therefore risk and benefits should be taken into consideration.
It’s okay to stop giving your child the antibiotic if they are feeling better.
- No! Always finish the course of antibiotics as prescribed. If it is a 10 day course but your child is feeling better on Day 3, they still need to finish all 10 days to ensure the bacteria has been treated.
- It is also important to NEVER share antibiotics. If you have any antibiotics leftover, throw them away.
We encourage all parents to take the time and ask the hard questions. Is this antibiotic really necessary? Could I instead treat my child with supportive care at home? At Little Spurs, we want to help educate the public on proper antibiotic use and make sure your child receives the absolute best medical care possible.
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.