If you want the best care possible for your child, then you may choose to take your son or daughter to the pediatrician whenever they feel ill. In many cases, the physician will inform you that your son or daughter has a cold or flu caused by a virus. These types of illnesses cannot be treated and they will need to run their course. Some parents will insist on a treatment, but treating the illness can actually do more harm than good. Keep reading to learn why:
Antibiotics Can Cause Even More Distress
Many parents will ask for antibiotics to treat a virus. However, the medication will not affect the virus in any way. Antibiotics work specifically on bacteria by keeping the microorganisms from building cell walls. The bacteria need the cell walls to live, and without them, they die. Unfortunately, viruses do not have cell walls, and thus, the antibiotics will not harm them.
Antibiotics will kill the harmless and beneficial bacteria in the body though, like the ones that live in the intestinal tract. When these bacteria die, the balance or homeostasis of your child's digestive system will be thrown out of whack. This can result in diarrhea or constipation issues. Also, abdominal cramping, gas, and nausea can be issues associated with the lack of microbes in the body. When these sorts of ill effects are piled on to the viral infection, your child will ultimately feel a great deal worse than they did with just a cold.
In some cases, antibiotic use can even cause an overgrowth of fungi, like the kind that live in the mouth. This means that your child may then need to be treated for a thrush or other candida infection when this would be unlikely if they had not taken the antibiotic medication.
Pain Relievers Can Extend The Illness
Many doctors will inform you to treat fevers associated with cold and flu viruses only if your child seems to be feeling a good deal of pain and distress. Treating fevers continuously though is a bad idea. You may notice your child developing a fairly high fever. This is not as dangerous as you think though. Fevers are created by the body as a way to overheat the virus in the body. Overheating causes the microorganisms to die, and this allows the illness to stop progressing.
If you treat a fever with a pain reliever, the fever reduces and so does the body's ability to fight the illness properly. This can result in a cold or flu that lingers for a week or longer.
Contact a medical office like Better Family Care for more information and assistance.
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