Pros and cons of antibiotics for children

Alan Greene, MD and founder of DrGreene.com, shares advice for parents on the pros of cons of giving antibiotics to children and how they affect your child's health
Pros & Cons Of Antibiotics For Children - Children's Health Advice
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Pros and cons of antibiotics for children

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Antibiotics are one of the great inventions in the history of humankind. They've saved millions of lives. Sadly though, they're often misused. When you give antibiotics for a viral infection or even for a bacterial infection that's going to get better on its own, you develop resistance in the antibiotics. They mutate to get around the antibiotic strategy. And you set your child up for future infections that are more resistant and harder to get rid of. We have now reached a crisis point. In 2008 in the United States there are bacteria that have been found in the soil that are not just resistant to antibiotics but can actually live on antibiotics as their food source. They literally eat the antibiotics for lunch. To solve this, we have to decrease the use. And it's better for your kid. It's better for all of us. And here's how you do it. If you go to a doctor, start with the question, can this be safely treated without antibiotics? And if it can, your doctor will be very happy not to write that extra prescription for something that's not helpful. If it can't, they'll say, no. This one really needs it. But if you start the conversation that way, you're far less likely to end up with an antibiotic prescription you don't really need. If you do find yourself using antibiotics, I always recommend giving probiotics as well. That's been proven to decrease side effects from antibiotics and it helps replenish the beneficial bacteria in your gut.

Alan Greene, MD and founder of DrGreene.com, shares advice for parents on the pros of cons of giving antibiotics to children and how they affect your child's health

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Alan Greene, MD

Founder, DrGreene.com

Dr. Alan Greene founded his website, DrGreene.com, in 1995, cited by the AMA as "the pioneer physician web site." In 2010 he founded the WhiteOut Now movement to change how babies are fed from their very first bite of solid food, and in 2012 he founded TICC TOCC – Transitioning Immediate Cord Clamping To Optimal Cord Clamping. He is an author of several books including Feeding Baby Green and appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, TODAY Show, Good Morning America, the Dr. Oz Show, and is a regular columnist for Parenting magazine. He is a practicing pediatrician and the father of four.

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