A new study has revealed that the most defenseless among us…our kids…are the latest victims of our ongoing love affair with antibiotics.
According to the study published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, serious methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus (MRSA) skin infections are on a sharp rise among children.
In fact, in 2009 about 71,900 kids were hospitalized with serious skin infections. That’s more than double the number for 2000. And sadly, to be perfectly honest, I have to admit that I’m not all that surprised.
Frankly, considering how some pediatricians tend to hand out antibiotics like Tic Tacs I’m actually astonished that we haven’t seen this issue emerge earlier than we have.
Researchers examined 297 cases in which children between the ages of 1 and 19 had tested positive for MRSA. It turns out that over half…53% of them…had been prescribed at least one antibiotic between 30 and 180 days prior to being diagnosed.
And as the number of antibiotics they were given climbed so did the likelihood that…yes, you guessed it…they were to be victims of the antibiotic-resistant bug as well.
I’ve written quite a bit about the antibiotic-resistance issue before.
I’ve cautioned you about the menace that is factory farming, warned you about choosing organic foods, and encouraged you to insist that health-care workers soap up before laying a single finger on you…especially if you are in the hospital.
But now it’s our kids that are paying the price for our over-reliance on “miracle medicines” and it’s time to double up our efforts to fight antibiotic abuse wherever and whenever we can.
You can start by flat out refusing to support factory farming by not buying their products. When you choose small farm, locally grown, and organic foods you send a powerful message to the industrial-farming industry that pumping our food supply full of antibiotics is simply not acceptable.
Be sure to never take an antibiotic when it’s not really called for. Remember, an antibiotic is not going to do a thing to help that cold of yours which is caused by a virus. And if you do have to go on an antibiotic take it exactly as prescribed and take ALL of it. Stopping an antibiotic too soon can mean the difference between having an ordinary infection and a super infection.
And finally, don’t ever just blindly fill a pediatrician’s prescription for an antibiotic for your child. Ask questions, find out what tests were given, and discuss alternatives so that you can be comfortable with the decision if you do eventually choose to fill the prescription.
For the sake of the kids I’m encouraging you to join me in resisting antibiotic resistance.
“Antibacterial Drugs and the Risk of Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Children,” Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011 Aug 1. [Epub ahead of print]