Severe diarrhea in children can be fatal, and that’s what happens when they get a difficult to cure C. difficile infection. Adults usually get C. difficile from hospital stays, but kids (1-17) are getting them from their antibiotic prescriptions.
Kids are one of the groups who are overprescribed antibiotics—parents are more likely to take a child to the doctor and advocate for treatment, and doctors are more likely to write a prescription to get a faster turnaround on their patients. Plus, kids are usually more likely to get sinus infections, which is the number one disease that antibiotics are overprescribed for.
So what should you do?
It’s hard to watch a child be sick, and even harder when you’re powerless to fix it. But antibiotics aren’t a magic pill, and there are more downsides than even C. difficile, so be smart about how you use them.
First, do you need antibiotics?
-Sinus infections are almost always viral, and cannot be treated with antibiotics.
-Ear infections depend largely on the cause—a viral respiratory disease? the pool? chronic and unexplained?
-Sore throats can also have multiple causes.
Doctors will often test for the cause of sore throats, but since sinus and ear infections often don’t have severe complications and aren’t as contagious, they are less likely to confirm a cause and, depending on the doctor, may just hand out a prescription.
How severe are the symptoms?
Try calling a hotline before going to your doctor. One may be offered by your insurance, your doctor’s office, your local children’s hospital (regardless of whether you’ve ever visited them), or try googling for other services available to you.
Don’t push for antibiotics, if your doctor says rest and support your immune system, give it a try—and make sure you really rest!
If you absolutely have to do something, there”s always natural supplements to support your immune system.
And if you do get prescribed antibiotics, make sure to compensate with lots of probiotics.
What do you think of doctors and overprescribed antibiotics?