Antibiotics have been hailed as one of the greatest medical achievements in history.
While they are certainly valuable in treating infection, they have sadly been overprescribed or dubbed “miracle drugs,” leading parents to think there is no downside to giving their child these medications.
But now, yet another drawback to children taking antibiotics has been discovered, and it may be more damaging than we imagined.
More and more, the medical community is finding there are just as many negative implications to taking antibiotics in childhood as there are positive benefits.
Antibiotics must be prescribed and used with great care, particularly in children.
Doctors have been far more cautious in the last decade about prescribing antibiotics to children, but many parents still push to have their children take them for the slightest illness.
Antibiotics are only for use in curing bacterial infections, but some parents want them prescribed to their children at the first sign of a cold or flu – both viruses — on which antibiotics will have no effect.
In fact, some studies have shown that a shocking fifty percent of antibiotics prescribed to children have been for minor respiratory symptoms related to common cold.
Children in daycare are also prescribed antibiotics far more frequently than children who stay with a caregiver at home, often at the behest of center directors with outdated attitudes on children safely returning to care after illness.
Multiple studies have been conducted on our body’s healthy microbiome – the good bacteria in our bodies that helps fight infection and other foreign matters to keep the body in balance.
Now, more negative effects of prescribing young children antibiotics have been discovered – and the consequences can last a lifetime.
A new study has determined that antibiotic use in children under two years old can put them at increased risk for allergies, asthma, stomach disorders, and obesity – potentially life-threatening conditions if not properly addressed.
The research was conducted on nearly 15,000 children, about three quarters of whom were given antibiotics sometime before the age of two.
They were far more likely to develop a frightening number of health issues later in childhood – from respiratory and digestive issues, to environmental and food allergies, to obesity.
There were several variances depending on the type and frequency of antibiotics prescribed, and even differences in reactions between boys and girls.
More study is needed to delve deeper into these results, and the researchers involved could not target actual causes of conditions, instead determining there is a definite association between antibiotic use in very young children and the later development of health issues.
One thing is clear, however… antibiotics are over-prescribed and often improperly used.
Parents should be sure to ask questions, never request antibiotics for minor illnesses like the common cold, and to follow all the directions given to prevent any type of reaction.
Overuse of antibiotics is causing frightening numbers of bacterial resistance – often causing problems for those with serious infections for which antibiotics are necessary.
So, do everything you can to protect your child’s natural bacterial microbe by adopting healthy habits and using antibiotics properly — and only when extremely necessary.
(h/t Mommy Underground)