Pediatricians in the U.S. prescribe more than 10 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions each year to children under the age of 18. After reviewing a nationally representative sample of 65,000 outpatient visits, researchers at the University of Utah reported in the journal Pediatrics that doctors prescribe antibiotics at one in every five visits. For example, antibiotics are commonly prescribed for respiratory conditions such as flu, asthma and allergies, none of which is caused by bacterial infection. Some infections are caused by bacteria and merit antibiotic drugs, however one-quarter of all antibiotic prescriptions are written for conditions not caused by bacteria and do not respond to antibiotics.
By being overprescribed with antibiotics, patients are more susceptible to antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria down the road. These broad-spectrum drugs manage to kill off the beneficial bacteria as well, compounding a patient’s susceptibility to infection later on. This sets a child up for repeated infections and repeated visits to the doctor’s office.
At Elements, we strive to enhance the patient’s innate healing abilities. By supporting the immune system, infections can be eradicated more quickly and occur less often. School has begun and children are exposed to more infectious classmates as the cold and flu season proceeds. If your child has already been prescribed an antibiotic, we can also help re-normalize his or her system. All aged children are welcome, so next time your little one starts to feel under the weather, remember to visit Elements.
Hersh A, Shapiro D, Pavia A, Shah S. Antibiotic Prescribing in Ambulatory Pediatrics in the United States. Pediatrics: doi: 10.1542/peds. 2011-1337.