Monday, 2 June 2014

Healt tips: uses of antibiotics discouraged

A Consultant Paediatrician, Dr Muhammad Salisu, on Monday said babies who were treated frequently with antibiotics risked having diarrhoea and allergic reactions later in childhood.
Salisu, who lectures at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, said this in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.
He said that the overuse of antibiotics in babies would upset the good bacteria in the system which helps to ward off illness in the early stages of life.
``Antibiotics can cause diarrhoea and allergic reactions and diarrhoea occurs when the antibiotic wipes out the protective bacteria in the body.
``Now, bacteria are necessary for a mature and balanced immune system in childhood.
``Antibiotic use may alter these bacteria, thereby causing imbalances in the immune system and a poor allergic response.
``So, a child who is treated too often with antibiotics can develop resistant organisms that are very hard to get rid of when that child gets ill,” he said.
The consultant said that many parents were unaware on how to treat common cold and cough in their children and resort to using antibiotics instead.
He said that viruses were responsible for most common cold and cough and children stayed healthier when a viral illness was allowed to run its course.
``Cold and cough usually go away on their own and maybe what parents should give their children instead is Vitamin C or multivitamins to boost immunity.
``Antibiotics cannot kill viruses, rather they do more harm than good to the system if taken when they are not needed,” he said.
Salisu urged parents to prevent common cold and cough by washing their hands regularly and making the environment clean.
He also advised parents to seek medical attention from their paediatricians when they feel concerned about their children’s health rather than resorting to self care.



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