Antibiotics are some of the most commonly prescribed medications for children, and they can be effective in treating bacterial infections. However, many antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary or not appropriate for the condition they’re supposed to treat – and that is creating a significant problem.
Misusing or overusing antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance. Over time, bacteria that the antibiotics are supposed to kill develop a resistance to the medication. Instead of the bacteria dying, it continues to grow and become even stronger, so the medication no longer works. In fact, some “superbacteria” have developed resistance to multiple antibiotics, making them very difficult, if not impossible, to treat.
It takes time to develop new antibiotics, so it's vitally important to make sure we use the medications we have as wisely and effectively as possible.
Mercy is actively involved in antibiotic stewardship to support the correct and safe use of antibiotics. We’re working to reduce antibiotic resistance and ensure the best care for our patients. Antibiotic use by Mercy Clinic physicians is monitored on an ongoing basis. Physicians are given tools to help them prescribe effectively and educate you about your options, as well as the risks of various therapies.
Parents and caregivers can help fight antibiotic resistance by using antibiotics correctly and only when truly needed. Here are a few important facts to know: