Babies given antibiotics more likely to end up with asthma:
The vast majority of ear infections can be prevented a couple ways:
Among the findings controlled for asthma risk factors, the researchers reported:
- Asthma was significantly more likely at age 7 in children who had received antibiotics in the first year of life for non-respiratory tract infections than in those who had not received antibiotics at all (OR 1.86, 95% CI 1.02 to 3.37).
- The likelihood of developing asthma increased in a dose-dependent manner and was significant for every number of antibiotic courses (OR 1.21 for one or two, 1.30 for three or four, and 1.46 for more than four).
- The asthma risk for children who received more than four courses of antibiotics in the first year was even greater for those without a dog in the home at birth (OR 2.02, 95% CI 1.20 to 3.38), no maternal history of asthma (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.20 to 2.04), or who lived in a rural area (OR 1.88, 95% CI 1.23 to 2.88).
- Broad-spectrum antibiotics were significantly associated with the development of asthma by age 7 (OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.16 to 1.93).
- Narrow-spectrum antibiotics tended to increase asthma risk as well, but the association was not significant (OR 1.35, 95% CI 0.29 to 6.23).
The link between nonrespiratory infections and asthma may have been at least partially because of misdiagnosed atopic dermatitis, which is a major risk factor for the development of asthma, the researchers noted.
- Nurse your child.
- Remember that ear infections are overwhelmingly viral and antibiotics do more harm than good.
- Keep the child away from groups of snotty children (public spaces like play areas in restaurants, malls, church, YMCAs, etc.) until they are at least two.
- Use gentle alternatives to help your child.
- Let the virus run its course. The child is building his immune system. Antibiotics ultimately depress the immune function and should be used in only extraordinary cases.