You don't have to be perfect to be the perfect parent!

Antibiotic Use and Colds….When Should They Be Used?

It is the season for runny noses!

As Moms we just want to make our kids feel better!!!  Antibiotics may not be the answer….

There is one common thread in all Moms, we want to be sure that our children are happy and healthy.  We want to kiss that “boo boo” and make it all better.  Often we take our little crusty nosed, coughing child to the doctor hoping that he or she will just give our child the “pink medicine” and make that cough or cold just get better…..

The fact is, a little TLC may be the best medicine for our little one.  A recent report by the Committee on Infectious Diseases of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (sounds like an impressive group, doesn’t it?) published a report which outlined when antibiotics are appropriate for ear infections, sinus infections and sore throats.  We know that many of those childhood illnesses are actually viral illnesses and the “pink stuff” or any other antibiotic simply won’t help.

Children who have a double ear infection or are under the age of 2 may be more likely to benefit from an antibiotic rather than watchful waiting.  Children who have severe upper respiratory symptoms that are persistent and not improving (longer than 10 days), are worsening (new or persistent fever, new daytime cough, increase in thick green nasal drainage after initial improvement) may benefit from an antibiotic.  MOST of the time, our children will get better with a little TLC and watchful waiting.  The CDC estimates that about 10 million children a year receive antibiotics that are not necessary.  This increases the risk of side effects and antibiotic resistance.  So Moms….give all the extra TLC you can for those little runny noses, scratchy throats and coughs, and save the “pink stuff” for illnesses that really need it.  We can “make it all better” with an extra cuddle and a little patience.

Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.



  1. I am not a big fan of medicating my child for every cough or sniffle either. My daughter had Hand,Foot, Mouth Disease when she was about 6 months old. The on call doctor at her pediatric practice, scribbled me a script & sent me on my way. H,F,M disease is viral. I asked around to other mommies & they all assured it me it would clear up on it’s own, which it did. I wrote my daughter my own prescription for hugs & cuddles. We moved her into our bed for the week & it worked itself out of her body on it’s own. I also am a believer in letting the fever do it’s job. Fevers are a defense mechanism in your body. If my daughter is running a fever, I monitor it closely, watch how she is acting & take her temp frequently. I try not to give her Tylenol to bring it down because the fever is fighting her infection. Of course if it is a high fever, I go into panic mode, give her the Tylenol & call doc right away.


    • Thanks for the comment! You are right, so many of the illnesses our children get are viruses and antibiotics will not help those! A little TLC and Tylenol when the fever is high is a great plan~:)


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