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Before you start your child on antibiotics – know this

Read the articles Viral Fever – What you should know about it

A lot of parents think antibiotics are magic bullets that cure everything every time. And that is why – when their children fall sick they want to immediately start antibiotics. But antibiotics are not magic bullets. Antibiotics must be started by a doctor after careful clinical examination and if required laboratory tests. Before you start your child on antibiotics – here is what you should know.

When your child falls sick – it is truly unbearable. It is extremely difficult to watch the person you love most in the world – suffer so much. A sick child in the family also throws any semblance of routine that you might have had in the house – out gear. All work has to be put on hold to comfort and attend to your sick little one. You can’t leave your child to go to work or to do house work. It is definitely not the happiest of situations and if it makes you wish for some magic that can make your child well again in a day or less – you really cannot be blamed.

Unfortunately however, there is no magic. Antibiotics do not cure magically. Certain antibiotics have limited action against bacteria of a certain kind only.

Most childhood fevers are caused by viruses. Antibiotics have absolutely no effect on viruses. And so antibiotics are certainly not useful for viruses. In fact antibiotics can actually lower your child’s immunity and keep him from fighting and recovering from the viral infection as rapidly as he could. So over enthusiastic use of antibiotics in children is a definite no-no.

In medical schools – a joke does the rounds in order to curb the over enthusiastic prescription of antibiotics by new doctors.

New doctors are jokingly told that if they use antibiotics to cure viral infections they would be likely to make their patients better in one week. Whereas if they held back and did not give antibiotics – their patients would get better in seven days.

A clever joke to drive home the fact that viral infections are self-resolving – and that viruses are tackled by the body in a certain time frame. Whether antibiotics are used or not – the infection stays for exactly the same number of days.

So would you still start your child on antibiotics for a viral fever. Not if you watch this video – I am sure.

Also watch 3 ways in which Exercise improves Immunity

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