The number of bacteria resistant to antibiotics is growing. In this edition of Child Wellness Wednesday, Marcie Fraser explains.
"If you are badly colonized or infected with this, it may something you may deal with all of your life, or it may kill you, and there are children in the country who have died of MRSA," explained Dr. Florence Gordon, pediatric cardiologist.
MRSA is one form of bacteria that has learned to outsmart antibiotics.
Dr. Gordon said, "You can take an antibiotic that used to work for a certain infection like an ear infection, or strep throat and over the course of several years or a decade, this antibiotic doesn't work at all."
When a child is sick, parents want them better. Often, a common symptom for parents to request antibiotics is green nasal discharge.
"Green is normal. There is an enzyme in white blood cells that turns green when it's breaking down mucus, so green is a good thing," explained Dr. Gordon.
In most cases, a child with a bit of congestion and fever will not need an antibiotic. It's okay to wait and see how the child feels for a few days.
"Over the age of 2 you can let it go three or four days as long as the child is drinking fluids and talking to you and not having trouble breathing," suggested Dr. Gordon.
Antibiotic-resistant infections can occur anywhere in the community, but most deaths related to the infection often occur in nursing homes and hospitals.
You can reduce your child's risk of a drug resistant infection by reducing the use of antibiotics. If you are unsure if your child should be on an antibiotic, trust your doctor.
Dr. Gordon said, "You need to have a good enough relationship with your child's doctor that you can accept from them the fact that 'yes, everything is going to be uncomfortable for a couple of days but then everything is going to be all right.' Or conversely, 'Dolores, I will meet you at the emergency room please come down right now.' There is both ends of the spectrum," said Dr. Gordon.