St. Petersburg doctors urge parents to get smart about antibiotics

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA)– If you are a parent, you know how it feels to have sick children.

“Being a parent, you want your child to feel better as quick as possible,” said mother Katie Namtu. “When your child is sick, you want to give them anything that will make them feel better and oftentimes, antibiotics do.”

Antibiotics knock out nasty infections like strep throat, but some doctors at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg tell 8 On Your Side most people just don’t know how to use them correctly and see them as a cure-all when they aren’t.

“People immediately think, ‘I’m sick, I’ve been sick for 3 or 4 days, I’m not getting better’, then they take their child to the pediatrician or one of these local clinics on the corner and they come out with an antibiotic,” said Dr. David Berman of All Children’s Hospital.

The more dependent we become on antibiotics, the more ineffective they become, causing people to actually become sicker for longer.

That’s why it is important to recognize the difference between viruses and bacterial infections.

“The common symptoms of a virus are typically upper respitory, runny nose, sore throat…but if you get to a point where you feel better and then you start to feel worse and develop a fever, you should always be evaluated by a physician to determine if you are developing a bacterial infection,” said Dr. Berman.

You also need to know how to take the drugs correctly.

According to the World Health Organization, antibiotics should:

– Only be used to treat bacterial infections

– Never be shared

– Full course of antibiotics should always be taken provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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