New guidelines urge doctors to prescribe fewer antibiotics to children

(WXYZ) - The next time you take your kids to the doctor's office, you may be sent home without a prescription for antibiotics.

The American Academy of Pediatrics just issued new guidelines for prescribing antibiotics to children, specifically when it comes to treating ear infections, sore throats, runny noses and coughs.

The guidelines are aimed at slowing the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

When it comes to ear infections, the guidelines encourage doctors to take a "wait-and-see" approach. Doctors should keep an eye on symptoms and see if they improve over time, instead of immediately prescribing an antibiotic.

However, if a child has infections in both ears and symptoms are severe, then the doctor should prescribe antibiotics, according to the guidelines.

Antibiotics should not be prescribed for a runny nose, sore throat or cough. According to the guidelines, antibiotics should only be prescribed if a child tests positive for strep throat or if symptoms have persisted and are becoming more severe.

When an antibiotic is needed, doctors should choose a drug that targets specific bacteria, instead of a broad-spectrum antibiotic, according to the guidelines.

For more information on the new guidelines, CLICK HERE .

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