Use of antibiotics in children

Antibiotics are powerful drugs used for treating many serious and life-threatening infectious diseases. Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections, certain fungal infections and some kinds of parasites. Most infections result from either bacteria or viruses. Antibiotics can't help you if a virus is responsible for your child's illness.

Below are some bacterial and viral infections:

Bacterial infections cause:
Some ear infections
Severe sinus infections
Strep throat
Urinary tract infections
Many wound and skin infections
Most ear infections

Viral infections cause:
Colds Influenza (flu)
Most coughs
Most sore throats
Stomach flu (viral gastroenteritis)

How antibiotic resistance develops
The misuse of antibiotics has caused problems. Their frequent use, often for conditions or infections that aren't caused by bacteria, has given rise to bacteria that are resistant to many commonly used antibiotics. Superbugs emerge when an antibiotic fails to kill all of the bacteria it targets, and the surviving bacteria become resistant to that particular drug and frequently other antibiotics as well. Doctors then prescribe a stronger antibiotic, but the bacteria quickly learn to withstand the more potent drug as well, perpetuating a cycle in which increasingly powerful drugs are required to treat infections.

Safeguard effective antibiotics
What you can doUsing antibiotics too often or incorrectly is a major cause of the increase in resistant bacteria. Here are some things you can do to promote proper use of antibiotics:

Understand when antibiotics should be used. Don't expect to take antibiotics every time your child is sick. Antibiotics are effective in treating most bacterial infections, but they're not useful against viral infections, such as colds, acute bronchitis, or the flu. And even some common bacterial ailments, such as mild ear infections, don't benefit much from antibiotics.

Don't pressure your doctor for antibiotics if your child has a viral illness. Instead, talk with your doctor about ways to relieve the symptoms of his/her viral illness — a saline nasal spray to clear a stuffy nose, for instance, or a mixture of warm water, lemon and honey to temporarily soothe a sore throat.

Take antibiotics exactly as prescribed. Follow the doctor's instructions when taking prescribed medication, including how many times a day and for how long. Never stop treatment a few days early if your child is starting to feel better — a complete course of antibiotics is needed to kill all of the harmful bacteria. A shortened course of antibiotics, on the other hand, often wipes out only the most vulnerable bacteria, while allowing relatively resistant bacteria to survive.

Usually, the length of antibiotic therapy will be a minimum of 5 days. In most cases, if your child has missed one dose of antibiotic, you should not double the next dose. Instead, you should continue to let him/her take his/her doses as normal.



Anonymous said...

The standard of singapore medical clinics is very good now. But of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion.


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