Prescribing Antibiotics for Children With Cough in General Practice Does Not Reduce Hospitalization Risk

A new study underscores previous findings that antibiotics are not a cure-all for children with coughs and respiratory infections. Not only that, researchers found little evidence that they even reduce the risk of children ending up in the hospital, according to the University of Bristol. The study involved 8,320 children ages 3 months to 15 years. Researchers said this further substantiates not making antibiotics a first-line choice when sick children come to the doctor.

This boosts the idea that it’s worth waiting out a cough or cold, rather than rushing your child to the doctor in hopes that a miracle cure awaits there. It also helps to know what kinds of things can cause a cough, and how to determine whether your child’s cough is serious enough to be seen by a doctor. That’s because there are many causes of cough that don’t need a prescription to treat, such as postnasal drip, asthma, gastroesophageal disease (GERD) and even certain medications your child may already be on.

You see, a cough is a symptom, not a disease in and of itself. And, as already mentioned, the causes of a cough are varied. By paying attention to certain details, for example, the sound of the cough, you will be able to decipher what the cause may be and, hence, know what to do to relieve it.

Even when sore throats are involved, 85 to 95 percent of cases are largely due to viruses — an infection that antibiotics can’t treat. Fortunately, there are many home remedies that not only can take the edge off a cough, but help with healing. Herbs such as eucalyptus, peppermint, anise, slippery elm and fennel can all help with coughs and sore throat.

Better yet, try honey for a cough. In this instance, I’m talking about pure, organic honey, preferably obtained from a local orchard, as most honeys on store shelves today are heavily adulterated with added sugars or other ingredients that take away from any healing properties the original honey may have had. The antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of pure, unadulterated honey are well-known and proven, making it a great alternative to prescription drugs. Plus, a spoonful works just as well and even better than over-the-counter cough medications.

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