Parent guide to antibiotics for children

Many children are prescribed antibiotics to combat ailments such as ear infections and sore throats, which are generally caused by bacteria. While visiting your Charlotte pediatrician, it’s a good time to ask any questions you have. Some of the most frequently asked questions include:

Why are antibiotics prescribed to children?
Although there has recently been some controversy surrounding over-prescription of antibiotics for children, antibiotics are generally an effective treatment for specific bacterial infections.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that antibiotics are highly effective for curing sinus infections, sore throats, ear infections, common colds, runny noses and bronchitis. Antibiotics are used to treat these ailments because many of them are caused by a build-up of bacteria in the affected area. Antibiotics work to eliminate the presence of bacteria in these areas of the body. However, the use of antibiotics should not be used to treat ailments like the flu.

When are antibiotics prescribed?
Children are prescribed antibiotics after they have been fully evaluated by a pediatrician to determine whether or not their illness is caused by a build-up of bacteria. It's important for parents to only give their children antibiotics after a pediatrician has recommended it. You should never save leftover antibiotics and give them to the child the next time he or she gets sick, since this may not be the right approach to the illness and can even be harmful in some circumstances.

If you’re in need of a Charlotte pediatrician, Angie’s List has more than 440 listings for physicians in your area. Want to see who your friends and neighbors recommend? Become a member for exclusive access to reviews of recent patient visits and provider ratings.

How do antibiotics work?
Despite the variation of antibiotics available, they all work in one of two ways. Bactericidal antibiotics, such as penicillin prevent the bacterium's cell wall and cell contents from forming. Bacteriostatic types of antibiotics prevent the multiplication of bacteria, according to Medical News Today.

What forms do antibiotics come in?
According to the CDC, children's antibiotics usually come in either quick-dissolving pill form or liquid form. In terms of taste, Amoxil, Omnicef, Cefzil, Zithromax, and Lorabid are acceptable for children’s use, while Ceftin, Vantin, Augmentin, Bactrim, and Biaxin are known to be less popular. If your child has been prescribed an antibiotic on the second list, it might be beneficial to look into FlavoRx, which is a company that specializes in flavoring children's medicine.


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