Are Antibiotics Dangerous for Babies?


Scrolling through the CNN website the article “Antibiotic use in babies linked to allergies, asthma and other conditions, study finds” caught my eye. I have three children and though no longer babies, I wondered about the possibility of dangerous antibiotics. Honestly, I wondered if this story had facts or simply clickbait.

“Children younger than two who are given antibiotics are more likely to have a number of ongoing illnesses or conditions later in life, a new study finds.” The article says that babies who received antibiotics had a higher possibility of having problems such as asthma, ADHD, obesity, food allergies, and more. If these facts are true, that would make antibiotics dangerous.

Just to clarify, antibiotics are not the same as vaccines. Doctors give vaccines to prevent possible infections. Antibiotics treat severe infections. In other words, doctors prescribe antibiotics to treat already really sick people.

The article quoted the senior researcher author as saying, “We want to emphasize that this study shows association, not causation, of these conditions.” In their analysis of the data, the researchers noticed that some people with these issues received antibiotics as babies. They cannot definitively state that the antibiotics caused these issues.

Opinion on Dangerous Antibiotics

I wonder how much antibiotics received as babies actually caused such diseases or if genetics played a bigger part. Personally, I developed asthma as an adult. I know as a baby I had pneumonia, so probably received antibiotics. Did that cause my later diagnosis of asthma? On the other hand, my father was diagnosed with asthma as a child, so it could just be genetics.

I must say that if my choice came down to my child receiving antibiotics, getting well, and possibly developing an issue, or avoiding antibiotics and possibly losing my child, I would choose antibiotics. It would be better to learn to live with those conditions than to live without my child. Are antibiotics dangerous to babies? Probably not dangerous enough to avoid them.

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