Ten things you need to know before giving children an antibiotic

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Giving the antibiotic to babies: the things you need to know

Del Paese is the European country with the highest number of children taking antibiotics, with a peak in the southern regions. These are the data recorded by the Observatory on the use of medicines (year 2022) and analyzed by dr. , founder ofMario Negri Pharmacological Research Institute, in his latest popular science work, written with Clavenna: "Antibiotics explained well" (LSWR Editions). "The differences observed between nations and between regions of the Paesene are not caused by a different epidemiology of diseases - explains the author - but are caused above all by socioeconomic and cultural factors concerning the family and also from the aptitude to prescribe ".


Antibiotics to the 1 month old baby: the long-term effects

Giving the antibiotic to children: doctor's ten tips

Antibiotics to the 1 month old baby: the long-term effects

While the side effects are often minor, the problem with overuse of antibiotics isincrease in resistance to them: this means that the failures of antibiotic therapies will increase and it will be necessary to use more powerful antibiotics, the duration of the disease will be prolonged and the risk of complications will increase. In addition to this risk, numerous epidemiological studies have shown that the administration of antibiotics in the first months of life could have long-term effects on the child's health (for example by increasing the likelihood of overweight or obesity).

Giving the antibiotic to children: doctor's ten tips

  1. ANTIBIOTICS ARE USEFUL ONLY IF USED CORRECTLY. The antibiotics they are substances produced naturally by molds or bacteria or artificially synthesized capable of preventing the development of pathogenic microorganisms by inhibiting their multiplication or killing them. They are characterized by a high therapeutic index, and therefore, even if they are lethal for certain pathogenic microorganisms, they do not damage the structures and functions of the host; in other words they are not very toxic to humans. It is important, however, that use them correctly.

  2. ANTIBIOTICS MUST BE PRESCRIBED BY A PEDIATRICIAN. You should never independently decide to give the antibiotic on the basis of symptoms or on the basis of the presence of sore throat with plates. Antibiotics should only be used if clinical and laboratory data suggest a bacterial infection: for this, the decision to administer them must be made by the pediatrician or, in the case of an older child or adolescent, to the general practitioner.

  3. THERAPY SHOULD NOT BE INTERRUPTED BEFORE TIME. It is necessary avoid stopping therapy sooner than recommended, even if the child no longer has a fever or no longer feels pain: the symptoms may disappear before the bacteria are completely eliminated and not continuing the antibiotic could promote their growth again with a relapse of the infection.

  4. THE DURATION OF THERAPY IS DECIDED BY A DOCTOR, NOT BY THE PARENTS. It is important to follow your doctor's recommendations regarding the frequency of administration daily and the duration of therapy: the interval with which the antibiotic must be administered is calculated so that its concentration is sufficient to kill the bacteria causing the infection and it is important to respect it.

  5. WHAT TO DO IF THE CHILD GIVES UP ANTIBIOTIC. There route of oral administration it is generally safe and rapid, especially in infections of mild and moderate severity. The drug it should be administered slowly to prevent it from going sideways or causing a cough. If the child vomits or spits up the medicine immediately afterwards, the rejected amount should be given again; if you vomit half an hour after administration, you do not need to repeat the dose.

  6. ANTIBIOTICS: HOW TO STORE THEM. Most drugs are ready for use, but antibiotic suspensions often have to be freshly prepared. If the antibiotic is in powder form, a precise amount of water must be added up to the level indicated on the bottle. Before administration it is necessary shake the bottle well in order to mix the drug. Often antibiotics, once "reconstituted", must be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of 7-10 days: the package insert contains information on the shelf life and temperature.

  7. DOSES MUST BE CAREFULLY MEASURED. To calculate the dose of drugs in liquid form the dispenser (spoon, cup or syringe) contained in the medicine pack. If it is not present, you can ask your pediatrician or pharmacist how the dose should be measured. It is important to check that the volume to be administered is the right one.

  8. THE SIDE EFFECTS OF ANTIBIOTICS. Antibiotics can alter the balance of bacteria naturally present in the gastrointestinal tract, in the respiratory system, in the oral cavity or on the skin. If after taking the antibiotic the child presents stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, spots on the skin or he is particularly restless or if, on the contrary, he is very sleepy, it is necessary to evaluate with the pediatrician if these symptoms are side effects of therapy.

  9. TALK TO CHILDREN ABOUT ANTIBIOTICS. Taking a drug for a child is often an unpleasant experience: depending on the age and his ability to understand and communicate, you can try to understand what his fears are and try, as far as possible, to involve him, explaining why it is important to take that medicine and asking what your preferences are, for example which dispenser to use, or if you prefer to sit or stand while administering.

  10. HOW TO GIVE ANTIBIOTIC TO CHILDREN WHO SPIT IT Cuddling, having a nearby toy favorite or role-playing games, for example pretending to give the toy to the doll too, can help reduce anxiety. It is important to make the child understand that medicine it is not a punishment because it was bad and that the medicine is not to be spit out.


The doctor recently also gave interviews on the Covid-19 topic. "It all depends on us, on our ability to avoid contagion. The more we comply with the provisions, the longer we stay at home and avoid contact, the sooner we get out - he says, interviewed with Radio Capital on the Coronavirus emergency -. For next week (23-29 March ed) we expect the peak, then it should start to decline; we take into account that the infected people are many more than those determined by the numbers, because many have very little or no symptoms. If everyone had adequate lifestyles and there was adequate prevention, perhaps we would be more resistant - he adds -. The spread of viruses and bacteria will continue to exist, which is why we must rethink the world of health ".


  • antibiotics
  • 3-5 children years
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