Antibiotics and Kids: What Parents Need to Know About Side Effects

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January 11, 2024

As parents, the well-being of our children is our top priority, so we are always trying to stay informed about the choices we make for their health. Today, we dive into a topic that affects countless families – the use of antibiotics in infants and young children. Antibiotics can play a pivotal role in saving lives, but as parents, we must be aware of their potential impact on our children’s health. This blog aims to empower and educate on the far-reaching effects of antibiotics.

If you have young children who have been on antibiotics in their early years, this is for you. We will dive into the dangers of antibiotics in kids and the associated risks, both short-term and long-term. As well as the intricate impact of antibiotics on autoimmune and neurodevelopmental health in children. And most importantly, the natural strategies for recovery.

Every year, an increasing amount of research highlights the risks associated with administering antibiotics to children. Despite decades of awareness, pediatricians, urgent care centers, and other conventional medical systems persist in overprescribing antibiotics at alarming rates. Furthermore, early exposure to antibiotics is identified as one of the top three contributing factors or “ingredients” in what we call “The Perfect Storm.” This refers to the pathway leading to conditions such as autism, ADHD, anxiety, autoimmune disorders, and other chronic illnesses prevalent in our children today.

The Risks of the Overuse of Antibiotics

1. Increased Risk of Autoimmune Disorders like Asthma and Allergies

Antibiotics, though life-saving, can disturb the balance between your child’s immune system and gut microbiome. This disruption has been linked to a higher risk of conditions such as asthma, allergies, and even obesity in children.

2. Increased Risk of Neurodevelopmental Challenges like Autism + ADHD

The connection between the gut and brain is very delicate and antibiotics can disrupt. This interference can affect neurotransmitter production - which is essential for higher brain function, cognition, and emotional regulation - potentially contributing to neurodevelopmental challenges like Autism and ADHD.

3. Disruption of Gut Microbiome

The gut microbiome, a complex ecosystem of bacteria, plays a pivotal role in a child’s overall health. Antibiotics, unfortunately, disrupt the natural balance of the gut microbiome by killing both harmful and beneficial bacteria. This leads to imbalances and potential gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea and, in some cases, more serious conditions that could cause severe colitis.

4. Allergic Reactions

While allergic reactions to antibiotics are rare, they can range from mild skin irritations to severe, life-threatening responses like anaphylaxis. It’s crucial for parents to be aware of any past reactions and communicate them to healthcare providers.

5. Antibiotic Resistance + Development of Secondary Infections

Perhaps one of the most pressing concerns is the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. When antibiotics are used excessively or inappropriately, bacteria can evolve to become resistant to these drugs, making infections harder to treat and leading to increased medical costs, prolonged hospital stays, and increased mortality.  Overuse of antibiotics can also lead to the development of secondary infections.

6. Global Health Threat

The overuse of antibiotics extends beyond individual health; it’s a global issue. It contributes to the rise of superbugs, bacteria resistant to most antibiotics, posing a severe threat to global health security.

Chiropractic Care as a First Choice

While antibiotics remain pivotal in emergencies, there’s an alternative for families under regular Neurologically-Focused Chiropractic Care at Pinnacle Chiropractic. We offer a safe and natural way to support your child’s defenses against viruses, bacteria, and infections. 

Neurologically-Focused Pediatric Chiropractors aim to strengthen your child’s body’s natural defense systems rather than directly treating an infection or illness they catch. Adjustments focus on improving their body’s “drainage and plumbing,” providing relief from sinus and ear pressure, facilitating easier fluid movement, and transforming dry coughs into productive mucus-clearing ones. 

In essence, by enhancing the body's "plumbing" and "wiring," your children can clear congestion, inflammation, and infections more efficiently and naturally without resorting to antibiotics or other medications. 

So many parents share with us how consistent chiropractic adjustments and a healthy lifestyle lead to less sickness for their kids. And when their children do get sick, they recover from colds and respiratory challenges faster and easier after adjustments. 

If you would prefer to reserve antibiotics for emergencies rather than the standard first option, consider changing your “batting order” of providers. Begin your journey with us at Pinnacle Chiropractic.  If you are not local to us, check out our PX Docs directory to find a PX Doc office near you!

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