Latest Research on Treating Common Bacterial Infections in Kids: A Short Summary

William T. Basco, Jr, MD, MS


May 29, 2020

The Takeaways

Two studies suggest that narrow-spectrum antibiotic treatment is probably as good as broad-spectrum antibiotics for children treated as outpatients for either a UTI or a CAP. Note, though, that children with complex conditions were excluded from both studies.

In addition, the recent research reinforces other earlier literature suggesting that repeated antibiotic treatment may raise the risk for atopic disease or obesity by the time a child reaches school age.

All of these studies provide additional reasons to be judicious in prescribing antibiotics. We've all heard the lessons many times, but they bear repeating. Use them infrequently, and only when indicated. Choose empirical antibiotics with as narrow as a spectrum as possible. Prescribe for the shortest duration possible. And encourage families to complete the course of antibiotics.

William T. Basco, Jr, MD, MS, is a professor of pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina and director of the Division of General Pediatrics. He is an active health services researcher and has published more than 60 manuscripts in the peer-reviewed literature.

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