5 Illnesses You Don’t Need Antibiotics For

It's that time of year again, when you are dreaming of fun family adventures, cozy memories in front of the fire, and playing in the snow. 

And for the most part, this is definitely the season of joy. But it's also very much the season of snot. A lot of snot. I don't think any single member of my six-person family has stopped sneezing or sniffling once since Christmas break started and I have to say, I'm a little tired of it. 

{ MORE: Invasive Pneumococcal Disease - What Parents Need to Know }

As gross as all that snot is, however, I know it's serving an important function. An increase in mucus production is a sign that the immune system is working to battle any bacteria or viruses currently looking to wreak havoc on your body, so I guess we'll just thank good ol' Mr. Runny Nose. But in the meantime, you may be wondering when your little one (or you!) will need antibiotics. Here are some common illnesses you may see this winter that actually do not require an antibiotic. 

Image via Flickr/ eren {sea+prairie}

Hand, foot, mouth disease. Surely an illness that causes horrible blisters, oozing sores, and non-stop misery for your kids would require some heavy-duty medication, right? Wrong. Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a virus, so no antibiotics will help touch it. You just have to wait this one out if your kids are unlucky enough to come down with it. 

{ MORE: New Study Links Antibiotics During Pregnancy To Birth Defects }

Pinkeye. If your kids wake up with those tell-tale pink eyes and green gunk oozing out, fear not. Some cases of pinkeye are actually viral. It's best to check with your doctor, just in case, but your little one may cure all on his or her own without any messy antibiotic drops necessary. 

Stomach bugs. An antibiotic will not help a stomach bug at all, so if your kid is puking, do your best to keep him/her hydrated, but wait at least 24 hours before going to the doctor if it appears to just be a slight illness. Anything lasting longer than two days or that includes other symptoms, such as a sore neck, needs to be checked out right away, as it could be a sign of a life-threatening infection like meningitis. 

Most colds. The majority of colds are caused by viruses and in some cases, can take even weeks to clear up. The CDC says that most colds are viral and can take up to two weeks before showing symptoms of improving. 

{ MORE: All Day Pregnancy Nausea: My Remedies }

The flu. Same story with the flu — influenza is a virus and it causes respiratory symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, and coughing, along with a high fever. Antibiotics will not cure the flu, but if you develop a secondary infection, such as pneumonia or a sinus infection with the flu, then you may need to make a trip to the doctor's office for some antibiotics. 

Stay healthy out there!


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5 Illnesses You Don’t Need Antibiotics For

Chaunie Brusie is a coffee mug addict, a labor and delivery nurse turned freelance writer, and a young(ish) mom of four. She is the author of "Tiny Blue Lines: Preparing For Your Baby, Moving Forward In Faith, & Reclaiming Your Life In An Unplanned Pregnancy" and "The Moments That Made You A Mother". She also runs Passion Meets Practicality, a community of tips + inspiration for work-at-home mothers. ... More

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