[back] Antibiotics

Two Out of Three Babies Receive Antibiotics by First Birthday

Two out of three infants receive antibiotics before they turn one year
old. By the age of two, three out of four children have received the
drugs, according to recent research.

These findings are especially concerning as resistance to common
antibiotics is becoming an ever increasing problem. Deaths caused by
Staphylococcus aureus, the so-called superbug that is resistant to
most antibiotics, are reportedly increasing.

Moreover, research from a new study has shown that children from low-
economic backgrounds are more likely to receive antibiotics than those
from more well off families, and boys tend to receive antibiotics
earlier than girls. Low-economic background might be a factor because
people from this group tend to have higher rates of respiratory
illness due to smoking and a lower likelihood of breast-feeding.

The study investigated how young children are when they receive
antibiotics and evaluated patterns of antibiotic resistance among
people aged zero to 40 years.

Records for all children born in Tayside, Scotland during 1993 showed
that by the age of one year 63 percent of infants had needed
antibiotics, 75 percent by the age of two. Exposure to antibiotics was
highest during the first two years of life, and decreased steadily

In terms of antibiotic resistance acquired through exposure to drugs,
resistance increased with age up to six years, then declined until 20
years of age, then increased with age, according to researchers.
Whether exposure to antibiotics at an early is an important factor in
the development of antibiotic resistance remains unknown.

Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy December 2002;50:1085-1088


  Dr. Mercola's Comments:

This is a sad but true article. The medical establishment has
convinced American parents that they need to run their babies to the
doctor at the first sign of a fever. This does not make sense, as a
fever is actually a good thing.

High fevers are especially good as they are far better than any
immunization at building an authentic, life-long immune response. When
we suppress these fevers with Tylenol we can cause far more harm than

To add insult to injury, parents give their children antibiotics that
do absolutely nothing for the viral infection and do everything to
upset the fragile bacterial microenvironment in their childís

It is no wonder that so many of us are sick as we grow up. Most of us
are fed grains rather than vegetables, and then we are assaulted by
well-intentioned, but nevertheless very harmful, rituals that nearly
guarantee a major health challenge down the road.

These medical "traditions" result in problems from allergies to
recurrent ear infections and tube placements in the ears to drugs for
attention deficit disorder.

Many traditional medical circles now accept the hygiene hypothesis,
the idea that children who experience frequent infections and
inflammations in early childhood will strengthen their immune systems
and be less prone to allergies and asthma than children who rarely
experience such infections.

Unfortunately, the hypothesis hasnít penetrated the population rapidly
enough to prevent the inevitable health traumas resulting from the
antibiotics given to our infants.

Related Articles:

Fever in Children - A Blessing in Disguise

Anti-Fever Drugs May Prolong Flu

Most Parents Clueless on How to Treat Fevers in Kids

Hygiene Hypothesis of Asthma

If Your Kids Are Too Clean They Can Get Asthma and Eczema

The Reason for Childhood Diseases