Why wait before starting an antibiotic?

Read the article Viral Fever – What you should know about it and watch the video Before you start your child on antibiotics –  know this

When your child is sick – you want to do something to make him well immediately. And when you go to your doctor and he tells you to wait 3 days before starting an antibiotic – you begin to ask Why? Why wait before starting an antibiotic? I want my kid to get well right now!

So of course you don’t want your child for a second longer than absolutely necessary, And as difficult as it may be to believe – neither does your kid’s doctor. Then why does he wait three days before starting the magic bullet called antibiotic?

The explanation behind waiting 3 days before starting an antibiotic for a cold or a fever in case of a child is – that most childhood infections are caused by viruses. So when your child is sick – there is a good chance that the illness is an infection and also that the infection is a viral infection.

Antibiotics only kill bacteria. They have no effect on viruses and so giving an antibiotic for a viral infection is useless. Giving an antibiotic for a viral infection can also be harmful – because the antibiotics kill indiscriminately and they would kill the good bacteria in the body thereby reducing the body’s immunity.

Most viral infections are self-resolving.The human body manages to overpower most viruses in 3-4 days and heal itself if it is given a chance. And in the process builds immunity.

It is therefore important to give the body a chance to fight the infecting virus.

So when your doctor holds back on starting an antibiotic for 3-4 days, he is actually helping your child build his immune system so that he won’t fall sick often.

If the infection does not resolve in 3-4 days or if it gets worse – it means that the infection is a bacterial infection and requires to be treated with antibiotics – and that is when your doctor starts your child on antibiotics.

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