Family First: Antibiotics

Posted: Wednesday, November 11, 2009 --- 4:00 a.m.

In today's family first, do you know when your kid really needs an antibiotic?

Especially as we enter the winter "sickness" season, we wanted to get it straightened out.

" Infections are caused by 3 different. kinds of germs. Bacteria, virus, fungus. Antibiotics only work against bacteria. "

Dr. Alison Craig is a pediatrician with GHC.

She says there are still many parents who request an antibiotic, not understanding that it might be the wrong way to go.

" Most people know that strep throat is treated with antibiotics but most sore throats are caused by viruses and antibiotics won't work. "

It's also true for ear infections.

They're not always bacterial - and not always best treated by antibiotics, especially in older kids.

Parents also need to keep in that over-use of antibiotic can have a negative effect long term.

" Antibiotics work against some bacteria but with each use of antibiotics, you increase the chance that a bacteria will develop a resistance to that antibiotic and that causes complications for the next time your child gets an infection that it might be harder to treat."

Dr. Craig points out that antibiotics haven't been around that long, really.

Doctors everywhere are very careful, though, to prescribe antibiotics in both kids and adults to get you better faster, without hurting your chances the next time around.

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