When it comes to a child being sick, you want to have the most correct and up to date information regarding treatment at your fingertips. As with most other issues that change and develop with time and technology, medicine tends to leave some folks behind; these folks remain confused about what works and what doesn't. In order to stay up to date, you'll want to be clear about the following myths that have been debunked but remain to be commonly believed by parents today.
An Antibiotic is Needed for Everything
Many parents assume that an antibiotic is needed for all different ailments, serious or not, bacterial or viral. Though in fact, the vast majority of children's illnesses are viral. Antibiotics are actually solely used for bacterial infections, such as sinus infections, where you need to give your body the antibodies to fight off the infection that your body isn't doing a great job fighting off itself. In the case of some infections, if you just give the body a minute to adapt before throwing it on the first antibiotic you're given, the body will fight the infection off on its own.
Yellow Snot Requires an Antibiotic
We all heard it growing up: our mothers would tell us to blow our noses in her tissue, she'd look at the gunk and diagnose you on the spot, “It's an infection” if it's yellow or green; “It's just a virus” if it's clear. We're not quite sure when mother's were given the ability to bypass years of medical school to diagnose and treat based on snot color, but they sure do it. Believe it or not, this is myth. A doctor will diagnose all symptoms combined to determine whether or not an antibiotic is needed.
It's OK to Implement an Antibiotic “Just in Case”
Sometimes parents like to use antibiotic medication as a “just in case” method. In other words, they're not really sure that the kid needs it, but just in case they'd like to get one for him; as if a strong antibiotic will do the trick if it's a virus. Giving an antibiotic before you actually know you need one can cause more problems- side effects, not to mention the loss of good bacteria that your body actually needs.
Using the Same Antibiotic Over and Over Again is Best
Stick with what works, right? Not so much. With antibiotics, doctors hear your recommendation to stick with what worked before, but don't be alarmed if they do just the opposite. In fact, doctors intentionally will rotate antibiotics because our bodies will become immune to repeats after a few trial runs with no interruption. The doctor may keep in mind that it works great, but trust him when he shockingly treats the infection with something else.
Truth be told, these myths continue to stick around because they all stem from the same general idea that “mom and dad know best”. While it's true that you may know your child better than the pediatrician, use that knowledge to inform him only and then allow him to diagnose and treat as he sees fit.