Antibiotics in children: everything you need to know

The consumption of antibiotics in children they should always be prescribed by the pediatrician, since their effectiveness depends mainly on following the guidelines indicated by the specialist, not only in terms of dose and quantity, but also whenever there is an infection of bacterial origin.

However, especially in adults, the consumption of antibiotics It has been triggered in recent years, in many cases alarmingly, since it is usually very common to take them when in reality it is not necessary (because we are, for example, before a viral infection instead of bacterial), ignoring the importance of that they must always have been prescribed by a doctor.

In fact, as we already knew in the article about The health risks of taking antibiotics without a prescription, if they are consumed when in fact we do not need them, we run the risk that, in the future, the bacteria will become more resistant to them, so that they will end up losing their very important efficacy, with the risks that this entails.

What are antibiotics and what are they for?

They are medicines or drugs useful in case of infections caused by bacteria, either preventing them from multiplying or directly causing their death.

Depending on the bacteria that caused the infection, there is a wide variety of antibiotics, which have been specially studied to combat the different types of bacteria that exist at the moment. Thus, Antibiotics should always be consumed from the proper medical prescription, and always under the supervision of the specialist.

In the case of children this is even more important, since we must remember something fundamental: antibiotics are only useful - and adequate - to fight infections that have a bacterial origin.

This means that antibiotics are not useful in case of viral infections. In fact, when the child suffers a pathology of a viral nature (that is, caused by a virus), your immune system is able to fight the infection independently and autonomously with the passage of time.

The medical prescription in children's antibiotics is very important

When our child becomes ill, the most common is to go to the pediatrician for evaluation and analysis. If the pediatrician considers it, especially because of the symptoms that the child suffers may suspect that it is a bacterial infection, prescribe antibiotics and indicate the doses and amount to be administered to the child (ie, the number of times day and in what dose).

So, antibiotic treatment should always be prescribed by the doctor, being very important to avoid "self-medication".

Pay special attention to the symptoms

In the pediatric evaluation, the medical specialist will assess the symptoms that the child has. And what are the symptoms that may indicate that the child is suffering from a bacterial infection ?:

  • Evolution of fever:When an infection is bacterial, the most common is that the fever is higher, lasts longer and can be above 38.5ÂșC.
  • Mucus and secretions:After the first 24 hours after the appearance of the first symptoms, it is common for the mucus and secretions to be more greenish, yellowish or purulent.
  • Upset and tiredness:When the infection is bacterial it is usual that the discomfort and fatigue is much more severe. The body hurts more, and fatigue is very common.
  • Presence of plates:When a process is viral, purulent production is not usual at the beginning, nor plaques appear in the throat. However, when the infection is bacterial, purulent plaques may appear.

Occasionally, when the infection is bacterial but plaques have not yet emerged in the oral cavity, sore throat and symptoms may advise the performance of a pharyngeal swab, which consists of taking a small sample from the throat and directly help to check if the infection is really bacterial.

However, before the appearance of fever many pediatricians advise waiting a few days before starting antibiotic treatment, since it is possible that after a few days you may notice an improvement. If this happens, the treatment is not necessary, since it will be a viral infection, when it resolves spontaneously in a few days.

How to administer the antibiotic to the baby and to the small child?

As we have already commented to you at some time during the present note, it is very important follow the instructions given by the pediatrician, without skipping dose and always respecting the quantities.

This will help the antibiotic to be effective, given that by administering it in the proper amounts and doses, and respecting the schedules of the shots, we will ensure that the medication is always present in the blood, which makes it effective.

Further, It is not appropriate to resort to the same treatment without first consulting the doctor even if the child has an infection already treated before. Even if the symptoms are the same, we could be wrong, and actually be a viral infection.

What are the side effects of antibiotics in the baby or in the child?

As with other drugs, antibiotics also tend to often cause side effects. The most common is diarrhea, given that this type of drugs tend to irritate the gastrointestinal system, in addition to adversely affecting the intestinal bacterial flora (that is, the "good" bacteria that protect our intestines from the colonization of harmful bacteria).

Fatigue is also common, as well as other gastrointestinal disorders such as vomiting, lack of appetite or nausea. This article is published for informational purposes only. You can not and should not replace the consultation with a Pediatrician. We advise you to consult your trusted pediatrician. ThemesAntibiotic

Antibiotics & your baby: what you need to know (September 2021)