Archive | August 28, 2014

Using Antibiotics Appropriately

With guest blogger Dr. Brandon Emery of Lexington Pediatric Practice, an LMC physician practice

Antibiotics are a great remedy for a number of childhood infections and illnesses. They’re one of the great advances in medicine, but it’s important to use them wisely. Taking antibiotics too frequently when they’re not absolutely necessary may decrease the effectiveness of antibiotics for your child in the long term.

Dr. Brandon Emery

Dr. Brandon Emery

Some illnesses always need antibiotics. Strep throat is one of them. However, sinus infections may be a different story. Some inus infections may resolve on their own without antibiotics.

One of the most common childhood illnesses is an ear infection. If a child with an ear infection is an infant, we usually treat them with antibiotics. For an older child, you may decide to simply treat the pain and allow the immune system a chance to resolve the infection on its own. Your doctor can help you make the right choice based on your child’s symptoms.

Importantly, antibiotics will only help a bacterial infection, not a virus. A virus will have to run its course until your child is better. In the meantime, talk to your doctor about ways to treat the symptoms and make your child more comfortable while they’re sick.

It’s important to note that any child with the following symptoms should see a health care provider:
~A fever that lasts longer than five days
~A fever of more than 103 degrees that lasts 2 to 3 days
~Cold symptoms that last for more than ten days or with severe onset

immunizationHere’s the bottom line: Parents should take their child to the doctor for an evaluation and a diagnosis, but not thinking that they definitely need an antibiotic. Some infections do not require it. The overuse of antibiotics increases the risk of bacteria becoming resistant to them. And because there are not a lot of new antibiotics being produced, that can impact your child’s ability to fight a more serious infection in the future.

Parents should always feel free to discuss the role of antibiotics and their use with their pediatrician.

For more information about Dr. Emery and Lexington Pediatric Practice, visit LexPediatricPractice.com or call them at (803) 359-8855. The practice is located at 811 W. Main Street, Suite 204, in Lexington. Dr. Emery is accepting new patients.