Antibiotics are powerful medicines. However, they aren’t always needed. Also, using them in the wrong way can cause serious problems.

Read on for information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about when antibiotics are needed, why your child’s doctor won’t prescribe an antibiotic, antibiotic resistance, and how to use antibiotics safely.

Bacteria and viruses are 2 types of germs that can make your child sick. Common infections caused by bacteria include urinary tract infections and strep throat. Colds and flu are caused by viruses.

Some infections may be caused by either bacteria or viruses. Common infections caused by either bacteria or viruses include ear infections, pinkeye, and sinusitis.

Keep in mind that antibiotics treat only infections caused by bacteria. Antibiotics do not treat infections caused by viruses.

Before an antibiotic is prescribed, your child’s doctor will want to make sure that an antibiotic is the right medicine for your child....

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