Kids should not have to worry about antibiotics

Before you start huffing and puffing, please try to appreciate the complex situation that will come to pass. If you had forgotten that there was a possibility that antibiotics could help your child, then…

Kids should not have to worry about antibiotics

Before you start huffing and puffing, please try to appreciate the complex situation that will come to pass. If you had forgotten that there was a possibility that antibiotics could help your child, then I think it’s time to remind you. That chance came about only thanks to children who got what we call a “superbug” at a hospital in the early 2000s, thanks to the use of a drug called Valtrex. It’s been scary to think that antibiotics could be routinely prescribed for young children. But the fact is, that’s the reality of modern medicine. Even if you feel super-safe in your thought, children’s parents need to realize they aren’t immune to an antibiotic prescription. And they shouldn’t have to for fear of giving their kids a potentially nasty germ. Here’s why you should be worried: The WHO and the World Health Organization have been encouraging (but not outright demanding) governments to take action against antibiotic resistance since 2013. Until that point, there hadn’t been too many serious discussions about antibiotics being overused and out of control. We’re really concerned about the possibility that we won’t have effective antibiotics to treat most serious infections in decades. At the moment, you won’t see any changes in the way your child is prescribed antibiotics in the near future. But, it’s important to understand that there are some steps you can take now to help to reduce the number of antibiotic prescriptions they get. It’s a far easier task than you might think, because, unlike similar issues with vaccines for measles and other diseases, antibiotics have no connection to school, work, sports or general activity. The medicine is simply prescribed at the doctor’s office. So, it’s actually less likely that, because of the attention the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has put on this problem, you might have to pick up your child from the doctor’s office. It’s possible, and likely, that your physician will put the issue on his or her priority list to discuss with you soon. And he or she should. We haven’t received the same level of support from governments as we’ve seen with other infectious diseases. But, if we can muster the political will, everyone will be glad to see progress. And it’s important to not only discuss how to get a physician to prescribe antibiotics more judiciously, but also the topics with your pediatrician. The sooner we start the conversation, the less anxiety you and your child will feel about these changes. What about getting the old flu shot every year? I can see the arguments against it. But here’s the thing: The flu vaccination is one of the most successful public health interventions we have. Its prevention of illness has resulted in substantial reductions in hospitalizations and deaths. The trick, of course, is to make sure the shot is given in a safe, reliable way. It’s pretty easy to do that. First, your child should have at least two shot locations. And the time of year should be consistent with the bug and flu season. Simple and practical steps like this will ensure that everyone is protected from the flu throughout the year. If we can find ways to make those vaccines available and safe, I see no reason why we shouldn’t be doing it. I know that’s a lot to ask from any family, but if we are going to save lives, then it’s not time to sit back and be afraid. – This article originally appeared on AOL Health.

Leave a Comment