Antibiotics are useful for fighting bacteria and to stop their multiplication. Yet, they do not work much on viruses. So, it is important to know that they are not the cure for a cough or sore throat.
Cold is caused by a virus called the flu. It is not a bacterium that the antibiotics could fight and is a common infection. If your child has a viral infection, they would get better in a day or two even without the use of medicines. It is a misconception that a cold turns into a bacterial infection. As a precautionary measure parents try to nip it in the bud by giving their children antibiotics. Is it actually right to do so? Professionals know what is the right medicine for your kid. Doctors tend to not prescribe antibiotics for viruses. They prescribe antibiotics only when they see them targeting the right bacteria. Read on to know everything about how you can use antibiotics for your child's safety and health in a positive manner.
1. Antibiotics carry certain side effects. They are:
- Stomach ache
People often get confused that the rashes caused by an antibiotic maybe caused by a general illness or allergy. This is because they both mostly look similar- red, swollen, etc. If your child is on an antibiotic course - it is most likely that you would mistake the rashes as a general allergy.
To be on the safe side - always contact your doctor for guidance when in doubt. They’d be able to tell you whether the reaction is because of an allergy. In addition, it helps your doctor know that they should avoid such antibiotics in future prescriptions.
2. The misuse of antibiotics
Antibiotics fight the bacteria that cause any particular infection. The misuse of antibiotics creates resistant bacteria which doubles the problem. These bacteria develop immunity against the antibodies produced by the antibiotics. Then, they stop responding to the antibiotics used later again. Thus, it gets rather difficult to treat these resistant bacteria becuase high doses of antibiotics are needed to treat it properly.
3. Misuse causes more harm than good.
This power of resistance of bacteria to the antibodies could make it a problem that requires urgent attention. Even repeated usage is not advised.
Sometimes, green mucus with fever could also be the cause of a virus. This does not guarantee that it’s a bacterial infection and it is always better to consult the doctor before jumping to conclusions.
4. Antibiotics are not always the answer to your child's sickness
A lot of times doctors can tell - just by examining your child - if it is a bacterial infection. This is because a proper diagnosis is required before any medicines are given.
5. There are different antibiotics for different infections
What may work on your child may not work on your friend’s child. Antibiotics cause allergies too. So, make sure your child is not allergic to some component of it before using it.
What worked for your kid’s strep throat in the past might not work for his pneumonia. Strep throat carries a different bacterium to be treated and pneumonia carries a different one. Some antibodies fight all kinds of bacteria - while some fight the specific ones.
6. It takes about 3 days for an infection to improve
So you should know that it is important that your child does not skip any doses. Stopping the course too soon would not treat the bacterial infection completely and the problem might occur again.
7. Kids hate medicines
They do not like to taste the things that are not sweet. Medicines taste the worst. Many pharmaceutical companies, these days, are trying to make it easier for kids to take medicines by adding flavours to them. Sometimes kids spit it out. It is important for you to wait till the next dose if your kid is spitting it out after 10-15 minutes of taking the dose. This would avoid the problem of overdose.
Sometimes, doctors mix antibiotics with liquid medicines so that the problem of spitting out is taken care of. If your kid is spitting the medicine out often - then the problem is not with the taste but the component of the medicine. There could be a possibility of that antibiotic not suiting your kid.
8. Appropriate usage
- Antibiotics should be taken in the dosage prescribed by the doctor and in the way it has been advised. Clear all your doubts with the doctor and always ask questions if there is any confusion.
- Antibiotics should not be taken on an empty stomach. You must have observed your doctor asks to take it after a regular meals. This reduces the chances of your child getting a stomach side effect. It gets easy to absorb them if mixed in foods rich in fats. Again, it is not the case with every antibiotic. Some antibiotics are supposed to be taken on an empty stomach. So, make sure to get this clear with your doctor.
- Antibiotics stored for future use in sachets can be harmful. Some studies say that unused antibiotics should be thrown away.
- Antibiotics prescribed to an adult differ from the ones prescribed to a child.
Make sure to keep these in mind so that your little ones are always healthy and safe!
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