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Antibiotics Or Wait It Out?
We were lucky, at least for the first three years. During infancy and toddlerhood, my daughter was put on antibiotics once. Yes, once.
Sure, she had a few stuffy noses and a few bouts of the stomach bug, but all passed with a little TLC and time. The one time I begged for a dose of antibiotics occurred with our first visit to the emergency room, late one Saturday night, with an infant that had an ear infection. I was sure that without antibiotics none of us would survive until Monday.
When it comes to childhood illness, chances are you'll hear the rumblings from your pediatrician that antibiotics aren't always needed. Sometimes it is because the illness is a virus and will pass with time. There are also side effects that come with antibiotics (which is better, respiratory distress or diarrhea?). Finally, there is the concern about a body building resistance to antibiotics. (Of course, this is easy for them to say, they aren't the ones pulling all nighters with a screaming infant or toddler.)
Now, there's this research study that is hot off the press.
Will antibiotics make your baby fat?
The results indicated that children treated with antibiotics between birth and 5 months of age were 22 percent more likely to be overweight at age 3.
As with any research, there are many variables to consider. For example, this study found that the time when children were given antibiotics did matter. Children taking antibiotics between the time they were 6 months and 14 months old did not have significantly higher body mass at age 3 than children who did not receive antibiotics during that time. Researchers noted that this outcome confirms that the first 6 months of life may be "a window of special vulnerability to exposure" (in terms of obesity).
Though good food for thought when it comes to advocating for antibiotics for my child, I'm not sure this study (or anything else for that matter) would have stopped me from begging for that antibiotic for an ear infection on that Saturday night we spent in the emergency room.
What about you? Would you wait it out?
Jeannie Fleming-Gifford is a mama to one little lady, freelance writer, and the director of education for a non-profit community school of the arts. Graduating with a B.A. in Music and a M.A. in Child Development, Jeannie began her career in quality child developme...Read More