When my child is sick – are antibiotics good or bad for him?

There are so many myths and misconceptions about antibiotics – that parents with sick children are always confused. And because of this – one of the commonest questions that parents ask is “ When my child is sick – are antibiotics good or bad for him?

Antibiotics are wonder drugs. We are very lucky to be born in a day and age when we have antibiotics available to cure infections for us. However, to be truly useful antibiotics must be given for the right reasons at the right time. In other words they must be prescribed by a doctor.

Before you start your child on antibiotics know this

A sick child is a nightmare for parents and it is tempting to cut short the course of the disease with an antibiotic.

However what is important to remember here is that each short sick spell. Each spell of fever cough or cold that a child suffers from is like a coaching class for the immune system.

When this illness is allowed to run its course for 3-4 days – the immune system learns to fight the germ that is causing the sick spell.

However when we cut short the sick spell with antibiotics – the immune system misses out on the coaching class. As a result it does not learn how to fight the germ causing the disease.

As a result – in a few days when the germ attacks your child again. Your child’s immune system is just as unprepared for the attack. As a result your child falls sick again.

If the immune system does not learn how to fight infecting organisms – your child will suffer repeated bouts of infection until the immune system gets trained to fight the infecting organism.

The immune system must learn its lesson the hard way by falling sick.

If you want to build your child’s immunity – do not start antibiotics on your own.

Always wait for your doctor to prescribe antibiotics. Watch Why wait before starting an antibiotic?

Here are some easy to follow guidelines for antibiotic use

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