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Study suggests antibiotics given to children under two could lead to higher risk of allergies

Posted at 5:06 PM, Sep 07, 2016

A new study suggests giving antibiotics to young children may increase their odds for hay fever and eczema later in life.

Scientists in the Netherlands took a look at 44 studies with over 650,000 patients. They found children who were given antibiotics under the age of two had an increased risk of developing allergies as they got older. They had up to a 41 percent chance to develop eczema.  And up to a 56 per cent risk to develop hay fever.

Eczema is a chronic red, itchy skin condition that can flare up periodically. Hay fever is also known as allergic rhinitis and gives you cold-like symptoms. It’s caused by an allergic response to things like tree and ragweed pollen, dust mites, or animals like cats and dogs.

I talk a lot about antibiotics as we really need to be educated about them so here are my prescriptions:

1. Don’t avoid giving antibiotics to those who need it, especially children. Bacterial infections need to be treated. People die from meningitis and pneumonia.

2. Don’t ask for antibiotics when you or your child have a cold. They’re not effective against viral infections.

3. It’s important to get vaccines and immunizations. They’re an effective way to prevent infections that may require an antibiotic.

4. Never skip doses or stop taking an antibiotic when prescribed. They are likely to do more harm if not taken correctly.

The researchers don’t know if the allergic disease causes more infections that need antibiotics, or if the antibiotics influenced the development of them. More research is needed.