Today in this contemporary world, we are thriving to give Antibiotics to kids since we are in the world of encouraging having delicious noodles, burgers, soft drinks and junk foods. Having antibiotics, with this type of diet is becoming riskier for parents to take remedies to cure the diseases like cold and flu.
Majority of parents consult with the doctor, where kids are prescribed antibiotics. For unaware, giving antibiotics for cold and flu makes your child prone to long-term problems and weakens the immune system.
Let’s have a clear vision on antibiotics and how it affects our health,
What are antibiotics?
Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria. Bacteria can cause infections such as strep throat, ear infections, urinary tract infections, and sinus infections (sinusitis).
There are many types of antibiotics. Each works a little differently and acts on different types of bacteria. Your doctor will decide which antibiotic will work best for your infection.
Don’t antibiotics cure everything?
Antibiotics are powerful medicines, but they cannot cure everything. Antibiotics do not work against illnesses that are caused by a virus. They do not help illnesses such as:
- Common colds.
- Influenza (flu).
- Most cases of acute bronchitis.
- Most sore throats not caused by strep.
- Runny noses.
- Most ear infections.
How bacteria/virus can cause illness?
Though antibiotics help to a great extent and are also essential in some cases but not in regular cases of cold and flu. The two types of germs that can make you sick are virus and bacteria. Both of these may have similar symptoms but the way they multiply and spread illness is different.
Bacteria: There are so many bacteria that are already present in our body and are helpful for us. But some bacteria invade our body and hinder the normal functioning of the body. Antibiotics kill these bacteria and stop their reproduction.
Virus: Viruses are not alive and cannot live on their own. They exist in the body only when they invade other living cells. These are particles containing genetic material wrapped in a protein coat.
The body’s immune system can fight them even before they cause any illness but some take their own time like for example the cold virus. And antibiotics do not work on them.
Problems caused by antibiotics:
It can cause problems like allergic reactions, side effects and antibiotic resistance. Let’s know about each of them in detail.
Allergic reaction: 5 out of 100 children are allergic to antibiotics. They may develop swollen, itchy and red welts. You should immediately consult your doctor if the child develops any rashes over the course of taking antibiotics.
Other side effects: 1 in 10 children may experience side effects like nausea, vomiting, stomach ache and diarrhea on consumption of antibiotic. As along with killing the bad bacteria, antibiotics also kill the good bacteria which can lead to such problems.
Antibiotic-resistant: If antibiotics are used over the course of years, they become ineffective in killing some bacteria, making the child antibiotic resistant. In some such cases, stronger antibiotics are given to treat the problem. This is one of the main reasons why doctors have become wary of prescribing antibiotics until really required.
Things to follow on giving antibiotics,
Be smart about using antibiotics. Know that antibiotics can help treat infections caused by bacteria but not by viruses. Here are some things you can do to help make sure antibiotics will work when you need them:
- Always ask your doctor if antibiotics are the best treatment. Explain that you do not want antibiotics unless you need them.
- Do not use antibiotics that were prescribed for a different illness or for someone else. You may delay correct treatment and become sicker.
- Give them a wholesome nutrient-rich diet.
- Get them in the habit of washing their hands after they come from school, play and before eating any meal.
- Get a flu vaccine and other vaccines when you need them with the doctor’s advice.
- Support their gut health by giving them fermented food and fermented fiber.
The Best approach to curing a cold/ flu is to use home remedies rather putting us in boiling water on giving antibiotics.
Mustard oil with garlic cloves: Heat the mustard oil (do not boil), add 2-3 garlic cloves and ajawain (Oomam in Tamil). Rub this on your child’s feet, back and chest.
Ginger and honey juice: Grate some ginger and take out its juice. Mix the juice with honey and give it to your child.
Keep the room comfortable: Use humidifiers to keep the room’s air moist which will break up nasal and chest congestion.
Give them more fluids: Make them drink lots of water to prevent dehydration. It also thins nasal secretion and flushes them out.
Let’s share this information to make a clear vision to the peoples how antibiotics affecting children’s growth but also it help to know how it impacts in our body to cause diseases.