When you or your child get sick, it is normal to be upset or worried. Our modern society leaves little extra time to recover. Most injuries or illnesses require significant changes to our daily routines: get more rest and sleep; avoid crowds; drink more fluids; abstain from alcohol, nicotine, and other drugs; follow a healthy diet that includes extra nutrients for healing.
Most upper respiratory illnesses, including colds, covid, influenza, RSV, and croup, are caused by viruses. Even Sinus infections, Pink-eye, Ear infections, and certain types of Pneumonia can be viral. Antibiotics are NOT generally helpful for these types of illnesses. They will not cure a viral infection or help you feel better. Inappropriate use of antibiotics may be harmful. Every time a person takes antibiotics, sensitive bacteria are killed, but germs resistant to the antibiotic will grow and can take over. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection that is resistant to the antibiotics that you have previously used. When antibiotics fail to work, the consequences can include longer-lasting illnesses, hospitalization, the need for more expensive and toxic medicines, and sometimes even death.
However, if you or your child seem to be getting worse instead of better, run a fever over 102, have significant yellow or green discharge, or are sick more than 7 days, get evaluated by a medical provider to determine the best course of treatment. Sick children under age 2 or anyone with poor immune system or poor health should be evaluated immediately.