A Paediatrician’s Advice on Giving Antibiotics to your Children
No matter how old our children get, they’re always going to remain our little babies. Even while we may at times get totally hassled with their mischief and naughtiness, but when they fall sick, we immediately feel terrible, in fact even guilty for having scolded them.
When they fall sick it’s as if a part of us has been shut down. When it comes to viral fever, cold and cough, there are certain precautions we all take – right from diet restrictions to simple medications and home made remedies. But what happens when it prolongs? Then maybe depending on the severity of the infection, antibiotics may have to be given as prescribed by the paediatrician.
Yes, prolonged use of anything is not good; the same applies to antibiotics as well. But even medications be it general allopath or antibiotics run for a fixed period of course – such as 5 days (or depending on what the doctor prescribes) which usually helps to bring down the infection.
While antibiotics are being administered to a baby, the paediatrician will also be prescribing multi-vitamins as well which along with a healthy diet will help a child regain his/ her strength and immunity.
Not always do we need antibiotics, hence as prescribed by a paediatrician, it is always best to watch out for symptoms, take precautionary care if you notice the child with an onset of a viral fever, a nasty cough or lose motions. If with regular simple medications and home remedies the symptoms don’t subside within a couple of days, then it’s best to seek a paediatrician’s advice.
During such times when a paediatrician may prescribe antibiotics, several parents may face obstacles in their families for the same. While you may understand the concern of your elderly parents or family members that antibiotics may be harmful to the child, but it’s always best to explain to them that these medications are specifically created for children and the dosages are given as per their height, weight and age.
Almost every parent we spoke to were more against giving antibiotics as they feel that it may do more harm to the child. This is where Dr. Nita Jagad MD (Paediatrics) DCH Paediatrician shares the common misconceptions that parents have about antibiotics and helped clearing them to put their worries at ease.
Antibiotics are medicines as prescribed by a qualified doctor for a specific illness, for a specific child considering his/ her age, weight and severity of illness. Hence it is not appropriate to use the same medicine with the same dosage, once again for the same symptoms for the future and on any other siblings.
Most of the times fever or mild illnesses caused by viruses are self-limiting and do not require too many medications. Only symptomatic treatment such as paracetamol is needed. Antibiotics are not necessary for such illnesses.
Antibiotics don’t shorten the duration or reduce the severity of the viral infections. After examining the child on clinical grounds or after the medical investigations, if your paediatrician decides to prescribe antibiotics, they should be given in proper dosages and complete the duration as prescribed which may range from 5 – 14 days depending upon the severity of the infection.
- As we all know that there are no medicines without side effects, but when medications are necessary, they have to be taken although serious side effects are rare.
- Usually, parents are asked to bring their child for a follow-up after 2-3 days by your paediatrician to monitor the effects of medication and also check for side effects.
- It is not right to change the type of antibiotics every day – parents must wait for 2-3 days for the improvement to show up.
- Antibiotics are not poisons, but they should be used cautiously only under the supervision of qualified paediatricians.
- It is harmful to start the antibiotics over the counter by parents for fever, cough and cold without prescription.
- There is no emergency to start on antibiotics. Parents should wait until they have consulted a paediatrician as most of the times antibiotics may not even be necessary.
Drawing a parallel Dr. Nita shares, if your mobile phone or TV or any household appliance needs a repair, do you repair it on your own or call a trained mechanic? Then why would you treat your own precious child on your own as this may land up harming your child even more?
During any illness, find out what the red flag signs that you should watch out in a child and rush them to the paediatrician.
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An exclusive feature for World of Mom, from the house of FirstCry.com.