Antibiotics And Your Kids: Frequently Asked Questions

Posted on: 4 October 2022

From a runny nose and a minor cough to a high fever and extreme lethargy, there are several symptoms your child will exhibit that let you know they are sick. Many parents take their children to the doctor and inquire about antibiotics. Although antibiotics are a powerful tool and necessary in many cases, it is essential as a parent to understand the ins and outs of giving your child antibiotics.

Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions you might have about antibiotics and your children.

How Do Antibiotics Work?

Antibiotics have been around for decades. The different types of antibiotics, whether the medication is in pills, liquid, or creams, work in different ways to kill bacteria or prevent the bacteria from replicating. For instance, some antibiotics block specific proteins in bacteria, which prevents the bacteria from multiplying or attaching to the cell wall.

Your doctor is an excellent source of information about how different antibiotics works and which antibiotics would be the best choice for your child, based upon the child's age and the diagnosis.

My Child is Sick, But My Doctor Won't Prescribe Antibiotics?

If your child is diagnosed with the common cold, which is caused by a virus, pinworm, parasite, or impetigo, which is a fungal infection, antibiotics will not be effective. This is because antibiotics are only prescribed to treat bacterial infections, such as strep throat, a bacterial ear infection, or a urinary tract infection.

Additionally, your doctor will not always prescribe an antibiotic if your child's symptoms are mild.

Can Antibiotics Be Dangerous?

Although the majority of antibiotics are safe and your child will not have a reaction, there are instances when your child might have an allergic reaction to antibiotics, such as a rash, diarrhea, nausea, and muscle cramps. Additionally, always give your child an antibiotic according to the package directions to ensure your child gets the most benefits from the antibiotics.

Contact your doctor immediately if you are concerned about an allergic reaction.

What Should I Do with My Child's Leftover Antibiotics?

Finally, if your child has any leftover antibiotics, do not throw the ambitious away or flush the medicine down the toilet. Antibiotics can damage the environment if introduced into the soil or water. Instead, use a marker to cover up your child's name and address and bring the antibiotics to your nearest pharmacy to be safely disposed of.

Antibiotics are a great tool to help fight several common childhood bacterial infections. If you have more questions, don't hesitate to talk to your doctor.