When are Antibiotics Suitable for Kids?

Antibiotics can kill bacteria and fight against bacterial infection. This medicine can cure coughs, colds and other virus-related illnesses. But here’s the catch– antibiotics don’t kill viruses but bacteria only. So, they are not an all-powerful medicine that can cure all kinds of illnesses. Also, overuse of antibiotics can be harmful to people, especially to children.

According to Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), there is about 30% of antibiotics prescribed and used in emergency departments and doctors’ offices in the US. In a study conducted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these antibiotics are used to treat respiratory conditions caused by viral infections like colds, sore throats, sinus, bronchitis, and ear infections. However, these illnesses don’t respond to antibiotics. Thus, a number of patients, especially children, only end up having allergic reactions.

So when do we know that antibiotics are suitable for the kids?

When it’s prescribed by a doctor

First and foremost, a doctor’s prescription is necessary before giving a child an over-the-counter antibiotic. Buying amoxicillin online without prescription should be done with caution. If the child is diagnosed with a bacterial infection, say a Urinary Tract Infection, an antibiotic can cure it. But if the child has colds, which is caused by a virus, antibiotics can’t cure it.

Other examples of bacterial infection are impetigo, bacterial skin infection, ear infections, bacterial pneumonia, bladder infection.

When it’s appropriate for their age

Antibiotics can have side effects such as rapid heart rate and convulsions. The only way to avoid these is to make sure that what your children are taking is the right dosage for their age. Even over-the-counter cough and cold medicines should be avoided in children younger than age 6 years.

Also, since antibiotics have no effect on viruses, it is important to note that the more antibiotics the child takes, the greater the tendency for him or her to get an antibiotic-resistant infection in the future is. Thus, following dosage guidelines is important when giving an antibiotic to children. For instance, Ibuprofen for children below six months old is a big no-no and aspirin should not be given to children below eighteen years old.

When the child’s body does not reject antibiotics

Let’s say that your child has a bacterial infection and your doctor prescribes an antibiotic. However, your kid vomits or spits the dose more than once. If so, check whether you have given more than the suggested dosage. If not, then you should consult with your doctor right away. Your child may be allergic to the medication. In which case, it is not safe for him or her to take it.

Final Thoughts

As parents, you should know what is good and what is harmful to your children. Using antibiotics for the wrong reason may not help your child get better. The safest way to treat any kind of illness is to ask for the doctor’s advice. Also, always practice caution when buying over-the-counter drugs.