THE BLOG
11/15/2011 09:57 am ET Updated Jan 15, 2012

Generation Rx: Is Overmedication Endangering Our Kids' Health?

I first heard the term "Generation Rx" in a speech given by Allergy Kids Foundation's Robyn O'Brien, a long-time supporter and now board member of Healthy Child Healthy World.

The idea is especially relevant this week, as I read about new study published in Pediatrics which focused on the over-prescription of antibiotics to kids.

Researchers at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City analyzed nearly 65,000 pediatric visits from 2006 through 2008 and found that doctors prescribed an antibiotic at one out of five visits, writing more than 10 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions each year, many for conditions like the flu and asthma, which are not bacterial and therefore not affected by antibiotics.

Another study that came out earlier this month now links these drugs, which destroy non-harmful bacteria in the intestines, to allergies, asthma and obesity, according to ABCNews.

For years, we've been hearing about misuse of antibiotics. We've published information about the use of these drugs in the food chain and about why many pediatricians believe a proactive approach is best for conditions such as strep.

And these new studies once again underscore the necessity for us as parents to communicate with our pediatricians and not be afraid to ask questions when a prescription is offered. There's nothing more frightening than caring for a sick child, but there's nothing more important than making sure the remedy will help, not hinder, her recovery.

Executive Director/CEO, Healthy Child Healthy World
www.healthychild.org