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Overuse of Antibiotics

We have had more than our share of germs in our house lately.  As I type this post I can hear my poor four year old feverishly hacking away in her bedroom.

A few weeks ago, my daughter was complaining about her ear. I brought her in (I really want to invest in one of those pediatric ear instruments) and she had a mild ear infection, which our doctor said I could treat with Ibuprofen. The next day I’m back on the phone with the doctor as her ear infection appears to have turned into an eye infection. He prescribes drops, I’m frantically spraying the couch with antibacterial Febreeze and wiping down the remote and phone with Lysol wipes as we ALL know how contagious eye infections can be. Two days later, she’s complaining about her other ear, my son’s eyes are oozing green stuff and we’re back at the doctors.  Double ear infections for everyone, and the antibiotics are dispensed.

When I drag my poor sick child into the pediatrician’s office and leave without a prescription, I feel two things.  First, I’m convinced we are leaving with worse germs than we actually came in with and two, I’m pretty sure that the ride it out approach is going to mean I’m going to have to drag them back in a few days later when the illness has kicked up a notch.

But the overuse of antibiotics has become a serious problem. The frequent and incorrect use of antibiotics over time can cause certain bacterias to resist responding to antibiotics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, antibiotic resistance is one of “the world’s most pressing public health problems.”  People are misusing antibiotics by taking them longer than they should, holding on to leftover medication for the next time and taking medicine that wasn’t prescribed to them, all contributing to the overall problem.

In the meantime, we got over our ear infections. In fact we had ten glorious antibiotic filled days where no other germs invaded our lives. I had a feeling that the germs would return ASAP, and boy was I right.  Two days after the antibiotics ended my son came down with another double ear infection.  My daughter had a fever at that appointment and had her ears checked to find nothing.  We left the office with another round of antibiotics for my son and nothing for my daughter. As her fever blazed on and she developed a serious chest rattle we headed back in three days later for a chest x-ray. No pneumonia, no antibiotics.  Time to ride it out. That night and the three nights before that, as she sweated and cried and coughed every ten seconds in her room, and I had nothing to give her, I have to admit, I was really wishing for an antibiotic.

How do you feel about antibiotics? Are you eager for the doctor to pick up their pad or do you prefer the ride it out method?  Because let me tell you, we’ve been riding, and I’m really ready to get off the ride.

Just riding it out, waiting for our appointment.

Just riding it out, waiting for our appointment.

Germs. Blech.

Please Pass the Germs

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Comments (10)

  1. Allison Randall 04/01/2013 at 3:03 pm

    Fresh air, sunshine and lots of organic fruits and veggies. Ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But there’s no denying that fevers, ear infections and colds are frustrating.

  2. Anastasia @ eco-babyz 04/01/2013 at 2:45 pm

    Antibiotics in my childhood ruined my health, BIG TIME. So I do whatever it takes to not give my children any, unless it is needed to save their life. For ear infections (only had one and only with second baby) I used colloidal silver as soon as he had symptoms and it all went away. He was miserable, tugging at the ears and even some discharge coming out, couldn’t sleep. Just a drop of colloidal silver twice in one day cleared everything. It is very upsetting how overprescribed antibiotics are. Not to mention how upsetting it is that there are cancer, asthma, and disease causing chemicals in everything these days – including Febreeze. It’s hard to navigate through all the junk, I try hard to educate parents about this and help them out. :)

  3. Carina 03/26/2013 at 3:29 pm

    I think antibacterial soap and cleaning supplies are one of the worst inventions of the last century. It’s creating super bugs! You can hardly buy anything without it being antibacterial–it’s madness!

  4. Karen 03/25/2013 at 4:12 pm

    I found my children much healthier when we stopped using antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer. I guess we were killing the good germs as well as the bad germs.

  5. Darlene 03/25/2013 at 3:15 pm

    If you are truly concerned about antibiotics, it might be time to take a look at alternative options. We use colloidal silver and it works wonderfully as an antibiotic. Our chiropractor helps a lot, too. For the cough…use vicks on the chest and bottom of the feet.

    • Stacie 03/25/2013 at 4:08 pm

      I agree with the use of a chiropractor. From personal experience, it has helped my 2 and 4 yr olds a lot

  6. the atomic mom 03/25/2013 at 2:49 pm

    I use and ask for antibiotics when they are needed — for bacterial infections. I’ve had the doctor offer me antibiotics for colds. I know why too, they don’t want to have to deal with a mom that is pitching a fit, I think that is part of the problem. I’ve turned those down and asked them to please not offer me antibiotics unless we actually need them.

  7. Sherry 03/25/2013 at 2:42 pm

    I think they are overused. My 4 year old is on two different allergy medicines a day because he wasn’t improving. This has helped but I know it’s a temporary fix.

    When my three kids were fighting with the flu or a virus, whatever was being passed around the schools, in February, I turned the furnace down to 60, made them all bundle up and kept them on the living level of the house and opened up every window in the entire upper level of the house for several hours. It seems to help them recover and not pick it up again.

  8. Olivia 03/25/2013 at 2:40 pm

    That’s a tricky one. It really depends on the illness. I am looking into natural healers more and more as the overuse of antibiotics has become a problem. I always tend to think back to the days when antibiotics were not as easy to access as being handed a piece of paper. We need to understand that it shouldn’t always be the first means of recovery for any and all illnesses. As much time as we spend on the internet, we need to be researching other options, natural options perhaps. Thanks for the article :)

    • Olivia 03/25/2013 at 2:43 pm

      I have also started to hit my kids with EmergenC when anything looks likes it could be coming on. I put it in their OJ. I don’t wanna say I “swear” by it, but if the proof is in the pudding, then I would say it has certainly helped us in the past.