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How often, if at all, do you resort to antibiotics for your daycare kid(s)?

1257 Views 28 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  RubyWild
I just feel like we end up with them more often than not. This time it's an ear infection. Last time it was a sinus infection. I worry that it's a lot of antibiotics used so far and my DD's only two. But I don't know what else to do. If I were a SAHM, I might try other things, but I don't really have that kind of time (or that kind of leave) as a WOHM, yk?

I have also had to take them a few times this year, again for the reason that I can't miss days from work, and so she's getting exposed that way too (through my breast milk).

What do you all do?
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I learned this the hard way with DD (my first born). Once you STOP treating with antibiotics, you are sick LESS often and get better faster. Ihave almsot always WOHM (ovr the past 8 years) and have 2 kids who were at one point both in daycare/public school. Take time to read up on treatments and causes. If you have time, $$, insurance, have you both see a chiropractor (we did this when we had the $$-it made such a difference!) Once yo uget out of the habit of going to the Doctor often and using antibiotics, I sware your health is often so much better!
I do not have my DC in daycare (erhrhr, hoping not to but it seems that I will have to).. they all have been in daycare at some point or another.

We do not do anti-biotics at all in our home.

Not for ear infections, sinus infections, bugs.. nothing.

Only thing I will take into consideration for biotics is a abscess tooth.. but, I have since found homeopathics that work WONDERS on any inflamations of any sort!!!
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This is a difficult issue and I feel so blessed to have a dcp that feels similiarly to me about health care. She thinks as I do, that antibiotics are only for extreme situations and that kids are all getting exposed to stuff all over the place anyway. My children have rarely had antibiotics. My dh and I take turns taking off so neither of us has to miss too many days at once. We keep kids home for fever or extreme discomfort but send them for something that is just 'hanging on'. The dcp just provides extra fluids and such.

ETA: I don't mean to come off as a snob about antibiotics or to disagree about the frustrating part of it. I mainly wanted to communicate how grateful I am for my dcp's flexibility around this issue!
Marah Jade has had three ear infections and she had whooping cough. I ended up giving her antibiotics for all of those. In retrospect I wouldn't have for the WC because I had to stay home with her for most of it anyway. With the ear infections her ears were in so much pain you couldn't even touch her head without her screaming. Considering the small amount she has had I feel comfortable that she got them when she needed them.
I don't.

I can't say I've never or that I wouldn't... but I'm very very careful now.

When I first had my son in dc I resorted to antibiotics for ear infections/sinus, but absolutely refuse to give him antibiotics except for the most serious of illnesses & dentist apts (He has a heart defect... and we haven't had any "serious" illnesses that we haven't yet been able to handle).

I found with my son exactly what bebesho2 said... once I stopped, he's like hardly ever sick. He does take supplements (multi vitamin + probiotics) daily which i definitely think helps. Definitely the probiotics... his WHOLE kindergarten (Minus Max) class was out a couple of days due to a nasty stomach virus...I took him home just because the teacher was out and I figured everyone at work would assume he was sick too (kindergarten/dc he was at.. everyone I work with uses as it's employee sponsored).

If he is at all not feeling tops, I do stay home with him. I can work from home and my employer generally rocks about things like this so I also don't feel pressured to get him better faster, if you kwim?
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DS has had antibiotics three times, all when he was less than a year old.

He had two ear infections shortly after starting daycare at 4 months, was in pain, and could not sleep. Antibiotics brought him relief in both cases within 12 hours.

Although he has since had many colds, those are the only two ear infections he ever had.

I would be less likely to give him antibiotics for an ear infection now that he is older.

I believe the AAP recommends antibiotics for ear infections only until a child is two years old. If the child is two or older, they do not recommend antibiotic use.

We also gave him antibiotics around 8-9 months for a persistent cough. He'd had it for over a month and it was seriously disrupting his sleep. It cleared up within a few days of starting antibiotics.

My doctor is, IMO, appropriately conservative with antibiotics and recognizes that most ailments are viral and will not respond to antibiotics. He won't prescribe just to make us feel like he's doing something. If he thinks it's viral, he says so, and we treat symptomatically.

Even though DH and I both work, and often having trouble taking time off work to be home with DS when he is sick, we (and our pedi) try not to jump the gun with antibiotics (which won't be effective if it's a virus, anyway), but to wait, watch, and be absolutely certain it's a persistent bacterial infection before giving antibiotics. That said, I have no qualms about giving DS antibiotics when it's clear there IS a persistent bacterial infection, he is suffering, and I know that antibiotics will help him.
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I am not sure what you all mean about stopping a/b's and they stop getting sick. So, if I stop them after this course, she should not get sick again? That doesn't make sense to me. I don't give them to her unless she's in bad shape. I don't give them to her for anything viral. She just seems to get ear infections a lot. Anyway, we finish the course, but down the road again, she will inevitably pick something else up, so I am not sure what you all mean by stopping and they will not get sick.

Also, I only keep DD home for a fever, plus they won't let her at daycare if she has one. She always gets a fever with the ear infection.
What I meant is when I stopped treating the ear infections with antibiotics, she soon rarely got ear infections. Cannot say never but it was rare and each time I treated it with ear oils, she improved and healed alot more quickly. I had also started her at a chiropractor which seemed to help too!

The antibiotics seem to set most up for a cycle of infections. It is more of a changing the way you view/treat the illnes.
Dang, lost my long post! Let's try this again.

Asmom2evan wrote, antibiotics are useless for viral infections. Abx are for bacterial infections. Most things kids get at daycare are viral.

I have given abx for ear infections twice, although DD has had them a few more times. Ear infections are awful - its heartbreaking to see our kids in so much pain. But my research found that abx do not shorten the length of most ear infections. So the goal is to provide pain relief and help make my DD comfortable while I support her immune system and the infection resolves itself. Goggle "ear infection without drugs" and you'll find lots of info from a variety of sources!

Abx for ear infections are the single most commonly prescribed drug in the US. A recent study from the Netherlands showed that abx use did not shorten the duration of the infection, and increased the risk of future infections.

The conversation seems to have gotten pretty specific about ears here. I've heard more parents talk about "masking" symptoms such as pain or fever with things like Tempra, Motrin or Tylenol, so that they can take kids who are sick or coming down with something to daycare anyways.

While we see our GP annually for well-child check ups, we mostly see a naturopath for acute illness in DD, for the reason that our NP is able to effectively treat so many childhood illnesses that the GP can't do anything about. Homeopathics have been especially effective for us (I'd never used them before DD).

The first year in daycare was like having the black plague in our house. After that, I think most WOHMs would agree that it gets easier. Your child has developed some antibodies, their immune system is maturing, and kids are learning how to wash hands, not mouth toys, etc. Also, around 3 yrs, the shape of the ear canal changes, so that ear infections become less common - it angles instead of being a straight line from the sinuses. For DD's second winter in daycare we started some homeopathic supplements to help boost her immune system in Aug/Sept that we continued through the winter. We had hardly a sniffle. These were recommended by our NP based on DD's constitution and the kind of things she usually gets. I'm not into self-prescribing for homeopathics, since I think it takes an experienced ND to choose the right treatments. So homeopathics, fish oil, probiotics - anything to help keep DD's immune system healthy in the first place - are what we do. On top of trying to have a very healthy diet, exercise and rest of course (we don't always do as well as we'd like, like anyone).

Sick days are the worst part of being a WOHM. Is DD sick? How sick? Will she get worse? Who's going to stay home, me or DH? If I take her in, will I get a call to pick her up part way through the day? If we stay home today, what about tomorrow? And of course, seeing my little munchkin miserable.
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My ped didnt even prescibe antibiotics when my ds2 had an ear infection. He said they lean towards NOT treating them now. (Could have just been my ped whom I loved!) Conners ear infection was there and I didnt even know it! He didnt fuss or pull his ear or anything, I think he was 1 or 1 1/2 when I took him to a well visit and the ped said, it looks like he has an ear infection. huh! So he didnt give me an RX and I went back in 6 weeks and it had cleared up on its own. That said, I grew with the worst ear infections ever. Constant and SO painful. I remember crying when I was 8 because it hurt so bad. I had ear drops that I used, RX kind.

My boys have never had antibiotics and when they do get sick I use a lot of Hylands products. I do resort to Motrin or Tylenol once in a blue moon when they have a fever that isnt going away, but if they are not uncomfortable, I let it run its course.
My dd who was in daycare at 9months old has never had an ear infection...knock on wood.. and she has only received penicillin once... i told her dr that i do not give antibiotics unless she truly needs them.. and he agrees... he never gives them out for ear infections.. he recommends natural methods etc... Dd hasn't taken tylenol or motrin except for maybe twice in her life... for me.. a fever is there for a reason and i let it do its job by killing the germs... the body is a magnificant creation
DS will be 5 in Nov. and has only had one antibiotic in his life. He is also very prone to illness. We just treat things naturally and they tend to clear up much more quickly with no side effects. Maybe search around the health and healing forum a bit to get ideas on how to treat your DC in ways that will help promote health.
Holy Crap! I stumbled across this thread this afternoon and had to post! My DD will be 2 in 3 wks. Her first ear infection was @ 2 weeks, she has had at least 1 EI a month(or 2) since! Her got tubes @ 6mths and just got a new set last month! (Which are not working! Talk about a mad momma!) We just got finished a EI this week. How do you do it with no medicine? I hate giving her so much, but I panic when she gets a fever. It seems every time she gets a runny nose the fluid builds in her ear. I'm interested in the ear oil that was talked about, can you use it with tubes? What else can you do beside meds when they(EI) occur?

The ear oil that some of us refer to is mullein-garlic ear oil. Works wonders. Not sure about using it with tubes.

You can find much more information about natural treatment of ear infections in the MDC Health and Healing section.

Another note. A good pediatric chiropractor is trained in adjusting the spine in order to help fluid drain more efficiently out of the ear. Last year when my dd was struggling with ear infections, this is the only treatment that we used, and successfully. Fevers can be scary, but this is how the body tries to kill viruses and bacteria so the fever should be allowed to run it's course.

But if we continue on, I shall have to move this to Health and Healing!
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My oldest had a couple of ear infections between 1 & 2 that he had antibiotics for. Then he stopped getting them. In Kindergarten he had Strep throat which I treated with antibiotics and again in first grade.

My daughter had about 5 ear infections during the first 2 years-all of which I treated with antibiotics. She has not had any ear infections since.

If it happened now I would try the ear oil.

Originally Posted by lauren
But if we continue on, I shall have to move this to Health and Healing!

The reason I posted my OP in here is because I thought that working moms probably have to deal with more sicknesses and also the pressures of getting their kids better faster, yk? I know I would have no problem "waiting it out" if I were at home.

I certainly don't mind trying to get back on topic though. I am fine with searching Health & Healing for natural ear infection remedies.
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Sorry for dragging it on. I do find it a challenge when dd is sick b/c we are both working parents. I would love nothing more then to sit at home with her and waiting it out. I have already used 3 weeks of vacation this year and I'm about to run out! It's good to read about Mommy in the same situation. Off the the H&H to read some more. Thanks ladies!

Sorry if I came off as sounding negative--not intended. I do realize the OP was about the frustration that working moms feel with having to get back to work and not always feeling able to wait it out. I have struggled with this a lot myself. I only meant that if we get too much into how to heal ear infections without antibiotics, the thread will become more appropriately placed in H&H; otherwise people looking for this information will miss out on the great suggestions!!

I just got back from vacation, so I was going through a lot of posts last night. Please know that the thread is fine!!
for my two, we don't use antibiotics very often at all... ds did have antibiotics about 2 weeks ago for the first time in over 2 years. Dd hasn't had them in longer than that... we go to our chiro at the first signs of illness (and regularly in between illnesses). I've found that most of the things my kids get at daycare (as mentioned above) are viral.

Part of the reason kids get sick less often when they don't take antibiotics is because the antibiotics also kill beneficial bacteria in the gut. When the beneficial bacteria are gone, opportunistic bacteria move in to fill the void left and can cause subsequent infections. If and when we use antibiotics, we supplement with probiotics between doses to help the gut maintain it's population of beneficial bacteria.
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