A new study suggests that better communication with their health care providers can help parents in reducing unnecessary usage of antibiotics for common childhood illnesses.
The study’s authors found that only 4% of parents advised to delay the use of antibiotics for their children’s ear infections, recalled receiving comprehensive advice, including information about the infection, the risks of antibiotics and how to properly care for their children.
The research also showed that parents who recalled receiving more detailed explanations from their health care providers were more likely to use antibiotics only if they were truly needed.
By waiting to administer antibiotics, parents allow their children the chance to recover naturally.
Erina L. MacGeorg, study’s lead author, noted, “When we use antibiotics, the strongest bacteria still survive even though we feel well again. Over time, these bacteria adapt to become resistant ‘superbugs’ that even very strong antibiotics with dangerous side effects cannot kill. Our best defense is to avoid antibiotics whenever possible, with guidance from health care professionals.”