(MDR) bacterial infections in children are on the rise.
study shows a 700-percent increase in MDR antibiotic-resistant
Enterobacteriaceae infections in children admitted to
hospitals around the United States.
and more commonly, we are seeing children who are admitted to
the hospital, who have infections with more resistant bacteria
than we have been in the past," says Mayo Clinic
pediatric infectious diseases specialist Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse.
adds, "One of the biggest reasons for this is the amount
of antibiotics children are getting now. We know that up to
half of antibiotics that are prescribed are either completely
unnecessary or inappropriate. By inappropriate, I mean either
the dose of the antibiotic is incorrect or the duration or
length of time that the antibiotic is prescribed for is
incorrect, and that is one of the biggest drivers of
that the overuse of antibiotics is the single biggest driver
in antibiotic resistance.
good hand hygiene, staying up-to-date on vaccinations and good
communication with your child’s health care provider are all
ways parents can have an active role in the fight against
best way to avoid recurrently being exposed to antibiotics is
to prevent yourself or your child from getting infections in
the first place," says Rajapakse. "What we recommend
is excellent hand-washing to wash all the germs away. Kids are
always touching their eyes, nose, and putting their fingers in
their mouth and so they get viral infections very frequently.
And so, excellent hand-washing for everyone in the family can
help to prevent some of that spread of infection. The second
thing is ensuring that your child’s immunizations are all
kept up-to-date. These are some of the best tools that we have
to prevent infections, and that includes getting a flu shot
YOUR CHILD DOES GET A COUGH, COLD OR FLU?
says your child may still get a viral infection, which cannot
be cured by antibiotics, but there are ways to make your child
more comfortable, including over-the-counter medications —
such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen — humidifiers and
lozenges if your child is old enough to safely use them for a
adds, "It’s very important that parents feel
comfortable talking to their health care provider about their
child’s illness, asking them what they think is causing the
illness, whether it’s a virus or bacterium, and, if it’s a
virus, what other strategies parents can use to help their
child to feel better, since antibiotics do not work against