By Jonathan Springston, Editor, Relias Media

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS) this week published a policy statement regarding antibiotics for children, calling for fewer prescriptions in this population to prevent antimicrobial resistance.

Noting almost half of antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary, the policy authors urged the creation of antibiotic stewardship programs in inpatient and outpatient settings. For inpatient settings, the policy authors explained stewardship includes setting institutional prescribing guidelines and providing rapid diagnostic tests. For outpatient settings, stewardship means focusing on diagnostics so the right patient receives the proper antibiotic for a condition that truly requires the drug. Additionally, the authors noted any stewardship program should consider dose and duration (i.e., for antibiotics, the lower the dose and shorter the course, the better).

“Antibiotic-resistant microbes cause nearly 3 million infections and 35,000 deaths each year in the United States,” the policy authors wrote. “A growing body of evidence demonstrates that antibiotic stewardship programs reduce antibiotic overuse while improving patient outcomes.”

The December issue of Pediatric Emergency Medicine Reports explains in detail when it is appropriate to use antibiotics for treating pediatric patients who have been traveling and return home with a fever. The January 2021 issue of Infectious Disease Alert includes an article about a population-based cohort study that showed exposure to antibiotics during the first two years of life is associated with higher rates of subsequently developing asthma, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, celiac disease, and obesity.

For even more on this and related subjects, please read the latest issues of Hospital Infection Control & Prevention.