Pediatric experts: There are still misconceptions about antibiotic use in children

The unreasonable use of antibiotics causes the rapid rise of bacterial drug resistance. Infective diseases are the majority of children’s diseases, and antibiotics are the most commonly used groups. The resulting bacterial drug resistance situation is grim.
There are still many misconceptions about the use of antibiotics in children. Yesterday, Cao Qing, director of Infection Department of Shanghai Children’s Medical Center affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, popularised science to the public in the public welfare activity of “2021 Shanghai Science and Technology Festival Popular Science – Antibiotic Resistance and Health Promotion” held in Shanghai Museum of Natural Science.

Myth 1: A cold to take antibiotics?

Respiratory infections are the main infectious diseases in children, and parents often believe from “experience” that anti-infective treatment can only be treated with antibiotics.
Dr. Cao Qing clarified that there are many types of infectious diseases in children, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and mycoplasma, and not all diseases need anti-infection treatment. Especially for viral infections, which account for a large proportion of all infections, children can completely heal themselves.

Misunderstanding two: carry the past, resolutely do not need antibiotics?

On the one hand, some parents “excessively” trust antibiotics, while others go in the opposite direction of the “extreme” misunderstanding, think that even if the child has a fever can not use antibiotics at all, on their own to get over it.
In this regard, Dr. Cao explained that viral infection can also cause a more serious systemic inflammatory response, influenza, adenovirus and the pandemic novel coronavirus have similar situations, so if in the late stage of viral infection combined bacterial infection, it is necessary to timely anti-infection treatment.

Myth 3: Stop medication when symptoms relieve?

Discontinuation of medication by oneself is also a situation that Dr. Cao Qing often encounters in clinic.
“Some parents think that in the course of anti-infection treatment, the child’s symptoms reduce, indicating that the condition is better, and then stop the drug, which is actually easy to lead to repeated or recurrence of the disease.”
For example, she said, the anti-infection course for scarlet fever takes 10 days. Many parents think that the child will be cured in three to four days, which is also a mistake.

Misunderstanding four: transfusion is better than oral “fast”?

Antibiotics administered intravenously rather than orally are “faster” and “easier” for anti-infective treatment?
Cao explained that doctors are very careful when using antibiotics, and the basic principle is to use them according to a child’s condition.
For mild infections, even pneumonia can be treated by mouth, reducing the need for unnecessary intravenous drops.

On the other hand, children who receive intravenous drops in outpatient and emergency departments are also at risk of cross-infection, Cao added.

Coping: Use medicine scientifically under the guidance of doctors

Dr. Cao Qing mentioned that antibiotic resistance in children has been a constant concern in recent years, and studies have found that the resistance of negative bacilli has become increasingly prominent, which is closely related to the use of third-generation cephalosporin in clinical treatment. “Single drug is also a clinical problem.”

In addition, recent studies have found that early use of antibiotics in children will cause disorders of intestinal flora. Many data have proved that excessive use of irregular antibiotics for a long time will lead to obesity, allergy and even autism in children.
In this regard, Dr. Cao Qing suggested that parents should be cautious and open to children’s diseases, should be timely medical treatment, through blood routine, rapid pathogen tests, under the guidance of doctors, rational drug use.
At the same time, scientific perinatal medication, natural delivery and breastfeeding are also effective ways to improve the diversity of children’s intestinal flora.

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