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  1. #1
    New Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Thinking twice about antibiotics


    Kids are prone to coughs, colds, bronchitis, pneumonia...and often times, antibiotics are being prescribed (if cause is bacterial).
    Well, I have not been very compliant. For a good reason. I grew up with my mum giving me antibiotics whenever I have bacterial infection (which was quite often). And now I have a developed a resistance to antibiotics.

    I don't want this happening to my 5-year old kid. So I don't give him any. He's healing process is probably slower as opposed to being on antibiotics. But he does get better.

    Am I putting my son's health at risk?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Marrickville, Sydney, Australia
    Hi Raven

    While antibiotics were commonly handed out for every sniffle when I was young, we now understand that viral infections (the culprits of many coughs and colds) are not stopped by antibiotics. Given antibiotics to a child with a viral infection makes no sense and is of no help. Like you I am against the overuse of antibiotics, due to be over-medicated as a child myself. However it is important not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

    You mention that children are prone to bronchitis and pneumonia. Both are very serious conditions which we should not routinely see in children. Both also have the potential to cause death if left untreated. In some cases, not given your child prescribed medications and thus slowing your child's recovery could be quite detrimental to his health. In addition it will keep him away from school longer and placing others in the home at risk of infection.

    You are right that it is important not to blindly accept antibiotics but it is also important to acknowledged that the advent of antibiotics has also saved billions of lives. If a child is repeated contracting bacterial infections it is important to explore the root causes for this and work to resolve them. This both promotes good health and has the potential to minimise the need for antibiotics.

    If a parent feels so concerned about their child's health that they take him/her to a doctor it is then important to be willing to accept the Doctor's advice. To be able to do this in good conscience you will need to find a good doctor, one that promotes the cautious use of antibiotics (not overuse), who openly and willingly explains the pros and cons of the medications they prescribe, and who looks for underlying causes of recurring infections.

    As parents our gut instincts are very strong when it comes to our children and we can be their best advocates in matters of health. Working alongside a skilled and respected medical professional can ensure we are well informed in our decision-making processes.


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