Regardless of the fact that we are, according to the WHO, entering an era where antibiotics have run their course and will most likely not be available to us, my Facebook newsfeed is still updated daily about children getting prescribed antibiotics for every ailment from sinus infections, to unidentified infections that could very likely even be viral, to ear infections, to skin infections. Medical higher ups are imploring pediatricians to be drastically more reserved with their antibiotic dispersal, but still it doesn’t seem to matter. Parents beg for antibiotics and doctors acquiesce.
Now, we have learned that besides upsetting our children’s gut flora, besides not allowing our children to exercise their immune systems naturally, besides the threat of life threatening allergic reactions to antibiotics, besides potential damage to children’s livers and other organs, a new danger exists: Antibiotic use in children by six months of age shows an increased risk that that child will develop asthma by age 6.
One of the most common reasons that children are given antibiotics is for sinus infections. With my children, I was told that when a sinus infection arises, it’s almost always a bacterial infection and almost always would require antibiotics. That was just based on theory though, and when put to the test, our medical community was recently astonished to learn that sinus infections are almost always viral. And in case you’re not familiar with viruses, antibiotics simply to not treat them. Viruses and bacteria are different. Antibiotics are used for bacterial infections. Antivirals are used in severe cases of viral infections. They are not interchangeable. Antibiotics, it has been decided,are almost always completely ineffective against sinus infections.
There are so many natural remedies that are safe and completely effective against bacterial infections. A simple search of the past posts on the blog will give you a ton of ideas to discuss with your doctor if your child is about to be prescribed antibiotics. I’m not suggesting you never treat your child with antibiotics, I’m merely suggesting that you don’t ever pressure your doctor to give them to your child and always request a culture. The damage that is created may take years (or even a lifetime) to recover from.
That said, there may be situations which are life-threatening and there may not be time to culture an infection to determine if antibiotics will work. Your doctor will explain that to you though. Doing our part in not using these tools unless absolutely necessary will help ensure these medicines remain effective for those actual life threatening situations. But more importantly to your own child, avoiding antibiotics when possible could ensure them a healthier immune system and less allergies and asthma for a lifetime.