Bad reactions to antibiotics send nearly 70,000 children to the emergency room a year, new research reveals.
Few drugs are prescribed more often than antibiotics, which treat many bacterial infections.
Children are particularly susceptible to these infections, but even more so to viral infections.
Doctors write some 74 million antibiotic prescriptions a year, the latest data reveals – and many of them are likely useless against illnesses that are actually caused by viruses.
And the medications make tens of thousands of those kids sick in a different way, according to the analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Humans in general, and Americans in particular, take too many drugs.
It’s not just the opioid epidemic that poses dangers to our health; in fact, taking too many antibiotics to help us fight of infections may be doing the greatest harm of all.
Antibiotic over-prescribing is setting the stage for the next plague-level pandemic, public health experts have warned.
Humans are rapidly becoming resistant to every antibiotic, meaning that the bacteria the drugs are intended to fight have been exposed to the medicines and evolved to outsmart them.
And the youngest children are likely the ones that doctors over-prescribe to the most.
Children under two have less developed immune systems, so they tend to get sick more often than older children and adults do.
Being new parents, their mothers and fathers may also be more likely to be anxious about their children’s health, which likely adds to the expectation pressure on physicians to send them home with a medication.