Martin Lloyd Sanders – What Should Parents Know About Antibiotic Overuse for Kids

Most parents often give their kids antibiotics; they do not even need. Though antibiotics are one of the most popular medical advancements across the globe, administering them to kids who do not need them causes more harm than good. Medically, the overuse of antibiotics has led to resistant bacteria- this means these bacteria are resistant to the effects of antibiotics, and they are very difficult to treat. The germs that were eliminated by the same antibiotic becomes resistant to them.  This leads to serious infections like sinus infections, skin infections, tuberculosis, pneumonia, and other diseases.

Martin Lloyd Sanders – What should parents know?

Martin Lloyd Sanders serves as The Chief Scientist Officer at The United States Public Health Service or USPHS. He says that parents should be cautious when it comes to antibiotic overuse for their kids. They should know that antibiotics should be given to the child only when needed. There are two kinds of germs that make individuals sick- they are virus and bacteria. They lead to diseases with similar symptoms that multiply and make the illness more serious.

Antibiotics and bacteria

Bacteria are organisms that exist as a single cell, and they are present everywhere. All of them do not cause harm, and some of them are useful to the human body as well. However, harmful bacteria invade the human body and multiply. It affects the normal health of the person, and this is when illness and disease set in. Antibiotics function well against bacteria as they kill them by stopping reproduction and growth.

Antibiotics and viruses

Viruses do not have life; however, they grow and multiply only after they invade living cells in the human. The immune system of a person has the ability to fight some viruses that cause illness. However, there are some viruses like the common cold that simply run their normal course and leave. Note that antibiotics never work against viruses.

When do doctors prescribe antibiotics for an illness?

There are different reasons as to why doctors prescribe antibiotics. Most of the time, they are not sure whether bacteria or virus have caused the illness. Often antibiotics are prescribed while they wait for the results of the test. Some patients often request the doctor to prescribe antibiotics or expect them during this waiting time.

Martin Sanders sums up by saying that parents should not administer antibiotics to their kids without reason. Overuse of antibiotics will create resistant bacteria that are really tough to kill. This phenomenon is known as antibiotic resistance, and it is a major problem across the world, especially in developing nations. In fact, it is one of the most common public health issues that the world is facing today. It is prevalent in developing countries where the income is less. Providers of healthcare still struggle to provide information on illnesses that are caused by bacteria and viruses. Parents should always consult their child’s doctor to determine whether the illness is the cause of bacteria or virus and then ask for antibiotics.

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