Sometimes even the most caring and devoted parents can endanger the health of their child. And all quite unintentionally. Which are the most risky situations we may experience and how to prevent ourselves from making mistakes that can seriously damage the health of our kids?
Overuse of Medication Against Fever
In most cases, parents tend to panic when their child has a fever and focus solely on how to reduce it quickly, without thinking that this is actually a way for the body to cope with the disease. Overuse of drugs against temperature in many cases may be more dangerous than the high degrees themselves.
Certain parents give paracetamol to a child with fever every six hours without even measuring the temperature. And this treatment may last for days. Antipyretics are not as safe as we think, and they should not be used indiscriminately.
Doctors explain that the risks of using these drugs occur mainly if we give a dose of the same medication every four hours, for more than 2 or 3 days, or if we combine several types of antipyretics at once. What’s worse is that paracetamol and ibuprofen are a main ingredient in a wide range of medications for fever and flu,
If the parent does not read carefully the leaflets with the belief that he/she is giving various drugs to his kid, might actually have the opposite effect. They can still be poisonous to the child, as the parent actually treats the child with an overdose of the same ingredient.
There are cases of children who fell into hepatic comas after an overdose of paracetamol. The overdose of ibuprofen or analgin can lead to thrombocytopenia, which consists in a decrease of the platelets present in the blood. Often children end up with a damage to bone marrow, a consequence of antipyretics and painkillers overdose.
What causes concern is that sometimes kids get into such crises even when the dose of the drug has not been so high. Therefore I encourage parents not rushing into antipyretics. Of course, each case is individual. Parents can leave their child with a fever for a while, but only if it does not suffer from other diseases, if there is no heart problems or no tendency to febrile seizures. If our children are in an overall healthy condition, we can safely avoid drugs treatment at 38 to even 38.5 degrees Celsius.
Doctors advise in case you give your kid paracetamol, but the temperature does not fall, do not rush immediately to give them analgin or ibuprofen. Wait at least for 4-6 hours to pass. Meanwhile, you could apply the old granny methods for cooling the body – doing cold compresses or taking showers, but remember that the water must be lukewarm, not icy cold.
Giving Aspirin to Children Under 12 Years of Age
Everyone should know that aspirin is not a medicine suitable for children. In my opinion, all practitioners should inform young parents that aspirin, though commonly used to cure viral diseases and colds, is completely prohibited for children under 12 years of age because it can trigger Reye’s syndrome, which results in hepatic coma and often leads to death.
Self-Prescription of Antibiotics
Everyone knows that parents should not give antibiotics to children on their own. Аt the same time many of them do this. On one hand, it is often pointless because antibiotics have an effect when there is a bacterial infection, but would not take effect with viral diseases. The parent can not separately assess to what cause concerns without the necessary medical tests and examinations.
Some antibiotics have serious side effects on the cardiovascular system, kidneys or gastrointestinal tract. Through self-treatment and indiscriminate combination with other drugs, the side effects can overlay and potentiate. There are cases of severe life-threatening bradycardia due to unfortunate combination of antibiotics with cough syrups and bronchodilators – in treating stubborn coughs for example. The fact is that sometimes even doctors find it difficult to foresee all risks in combining various drugs. This is why it is totally unacceptable that judgment to be left in the hands of parents.
On the other hand, it is very important if you are prescribed an antibiotic and started a course of treatment to ensure continuity, even when you notice signs of improvement. Each course of antibiotic treatment must be passed completely – generally five, seven or ten days. Even if the child seems completely healed, premature discontinuation of antibiotic treatment carries risks of creating resistance. The child “grows” bacterial strains that are insensitive and are not affected by standard antibiotics and the next time they need an intake, the drug will no longer work.
However, we must consider that new antibiotics have nоt been devised for the last 12-15 years. New generations of some groups of antibiotics have been invented, but not a completely new drug. Due to the excessive or wrong usage we tend to reach a point where antibiotics will no longer work. Then we are going back centuries ago in medicine when even elementary infections might be fatal.