Colds & Flu: A Parent’s Guide
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Before prescribing any antibiotics, many doctors will see how the ailment progresses over the course of a couple of days because the majority of bacterial infections only last 48 to 72 hours. That’s why I like to give my patients an “ear warranty” when dealing with ear infections. This entitles them to a free second visit within 48 to 72 hours for another examination and prescription if their ear infection has not healed. Some doctors prefer to write prescriptions and tell parents not to fill them unless the ear infection persists for another three days. By taking antibiotics only when most necessary, you can better prevent your child from developing antibiotic resistancewill help prevent the rise of resistance to antibiotics among bacteria.™
Avoiding colds and flu
Unfortunately, there is no absolute way to prevent children from getting sick, but parents can take a few simple steps to reduce their children’s risk. Talk to your doctor about all vaccination options, especially a flu vaccination, which is highly advisable for babies kids 6-35 months, and all children with chronic illnesses. During the current vaccine shortage, parents should be aware that children at high-risk will take priority. If your child is high-risk, it is imperative that you discuss this with your pediatrician.
Parents can also read about the latest medical findings, such as the regularly updated guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Parents should never hesitate to ask questions of their child’s pediatrician, and they should try to stay current on the latest medical developments. Medical guidelines are often in flux; the recent flu vaccine development is only one case in point.
LAURA Popper, M.D., named one of the 10 best pediatricians in New York City by New York magazine, is a pediatrician in private practice. Dr. Popper sits on the board of the Mt. Sinai Children’s Center Foundation and is also a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the New York Academy of Medicine.