Does Early Antibiotic Use Affect Child Development and Health?

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Antibiotics are given out all of the time when you go to the doctor’s office. They are given out when you have an upset stomach, when you are sick, when you are in a bit of pain, and for so much else. The medication industry has filled the market with antibiotics for almost everything, and even children are becoming exposed to more of these medications. There are now more studies being done to see how this early exposure to antibiotics may be affecting child development. It has been found through various studies that child development can be affected with the use of antibiotics. In a lab study of mice, those who were given the low dose of antibiotics, in relation to what most kids would be given for their size, were shown to develop much faster than those who did not receive any. The mice that did get the antibiotics had fat mass and their percent of body fat increased earlier on compared to those who did not receive antibiotics. There was also a difference in the mice with antibiotics when it came to their bone density. It is believed that this is all caused because the antibiotics are manipulating the way that certain nutrients are metabolized in the body. What does this mean for your child? It shows that when antibiotics are introduced at a young age and in higher amounts, there is a higher risk that your child may suffer from becoming obese later on in life. This is because the medications are not only fighting off the bacteria that they were intended for, they are changing the chemistry and composition of many of the bacteria in the stomach that are meant to help metabolize and use up fat correctly. When these are not in good working order during child development, the issue will continue to get worse as the child gets older. They will begin suffering from more fat being stored in the body because the proper bacteria are not doing their job and metabolizing it up. The earlier the antibiotics are introduced, the more severe this issue can be. So what can you do to avoid these issues? Make sure that your child really needs an antibiotic before giving it to them. Often the symptoms of a little cold or allergies can be fixed just as well with an over the counter medicine rather than going with an antibiotic and can keep children's health intact.