Other Articles from Santinah Nyagah
If you have raised or are raising children, you probably know by heart the most common antibiotics prescribed to children.
Names like Klacid, Zinnat, Augmentin and Amoxil roll easily off your tongue. Most children within the course of a year will have visited a doctor and got to take antibiotics at least 4 times each year. At least I can say that for my children.
And so I took some time to read up on antibiotics and understand how they work and when they should be given. Last week while flipping through TV channels I chanced upon a documentary by the BBC that was talking about how scientists are worried about our rising resistance to the commonly used antibiotics. What got me really worried was an article I had read that said “we seem to be developing resistance to the most commonly used ones faster than we can develop new ones”.
The last class of antibiotics was discovered three decades ago. You can read the BBC article on the rise in antibiotic resistance.
Back to my story….
It is in the background of all of this that I sat down to talk with a close family member whose children are the same age as mine. We discussed on whether our children were being given too many antibiotics when we took them to hospital.
And if so, could we learn to manage colds, coughs and flu differently. That is when she shared something I found pretty interesting…
Her son who suffers from several bouts of colds and flu had had such a serious bout of flu he had had to go for nebulization. When the pharmacist whom she picks her prescriptions from told her the boy was taking too many antibiotics she decided to visit an ENT specialist.
The ENT advised her to give her 4 year old, zinc supplements and they came out of the doctor’s without any antibiotics prescribed and what a huge relief it was!
So she has been using the supplements for a few weeks now together with some echinecea drops. Zinc is an important mineral required by the body, in an article in Medical News Today , intake of the recommended daily allowance of zinc is especially important for young children as it reduces the risk of infections and respiratory diseases.
While zinc supplements are available and should only be taken after advice from a qualified doctor, it is much better to get them from food.
Some of the foods from where you can get your RDA of zinc include beef, yogurt, peas, and peanuts.
Echinecea on the other hand is a herb whose leaves, flower and root are used to make medicine. It has been shown to modestly reduce symptoms of colds but research is not clear on whether it prevents colds. It works by releasing chemicals in the body that reduce inflammation and relieves cold and flu symptoms.
In light of all these findings I would like to hear and learn from fellow mothers who have used supplements or echinacea with successful results.
Not only will we help each other learn how we can reduce incidences of colds and flu, we may also start asking more questions the next time we get a dose of antibiotics prescribed for our little ones.
If there are any doctors reading this could you also please enlighten us on how best to manage colds, flu in our little ones.
Let us learn together.
Read more on Ina’s Blog