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