Antibiotics and Childhood Obesity: Are Children Being Under-Treated?

If your child is overweight and on antibiotics, you may want to check with your doctor that they are getting the right amount to treat the infection.

For over 50 years doctors have prescribed antibiotics to children using this rule of thumb: a big child is equal to half an adult, and a small child is equal to half a big child, and a baby is equal to half a small child. But now that 1 in 3 children are overweight or obese and are as big as adults, can this rule of thumb still apply? Are children being under-treated?

Amoxicillin for example, is the most commonly prescribed drug for children with bacterial infections such as strep throat. If children are not getting an adequate dose to clear the infection, it raises the risk of risk of antibiotic resistance developing. The new mutated form will be more difficult to treat as it is passed to other children.

New antibiotic dosing guidelines need to be developed that reflect the changing weight of our children and ensure effective treatment of bacterial infections.