There are more than 100 different viruses that are responsible for the common cold, and antibiotics will do nothing to them. Many parents think that their child should be given antibiotics when they have a bad cold. What they don’t realise is that antibiotics will only kill bacteria and are only effective against illnesses that are caused by bacteria. Most doctors agree that its best to let your child’s cold run its course.
 
If antibiotics are taken when they are not needed, they can be harmful. Because an antibiotic will kill bad bacteria, it will also kill good bacteria. Protective bacteria are present in the nasal passages and in the intestines. When the good bacteria are killed off, new bacteria grow that are more resistant to antibiotics. If your child is over treated with antibiotics, they could develop resistant bacteria that will be harder to get rid of when they become ill.
 
Over-prescribing antibiotics also has an effect on the population as a whole. As more resistant bacteria grow and become immune to antibiotics, bacterial illnesses become extremely difficult to treat.

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