Is it teething time for your little one?
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Do antibiotics work as a treatment for all illnesses?

We’ve all been told, over and over again, that antibiotics are a good remedy for diseases and other medical problems. However, in some cases, antibiotics won’t help to cure your child. In the following instances, antibiotics won’t help your child to recover any faster:

Colds
Flu
Other viral infections

Since these illnesses are all caused by viruses, and not bacteria, they can’t be effectively treated with antibiotics, which are designed to kill bacteria – not viruses. Other common ailments, like ear infections, sinus infections and other bacterial illnesses can be successfully treated using antibiotics, however, you will need to get a prescription from your doctor, and follow the dosage instructions carefully. Overdosing on antibiotics can be dangerous, and will do more harm than good!

Antibiotics courses should also always be finished, otherwise your child is at risk of a repeat infection.

It’s worth noting that in some cases, such as chicken pox, antibiotics can be prescribed, but that is to treat secondary infections, in this case, bacterial infections due to scratching. If your child has a virus, however, antibiotics won’t help him or her to recover any faster, and they won’t make him or her feel any better. Only time, rest, and plenty of fluids if your child is feverish will help. You can make your child a little more comfortable using ibuprofen or child safe paracetamol, however.

More questions

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