Antimicrobial stewardship and children
Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) is important in the care of children because administration of antimicrobials can have long term consequences for their health.
Why are children a focus for improved antimicrobial prescribing?
- Children are prescribed antimicrobials at higher rates than other age groups.
- Antimicrobials are often inappropriately prescribed for children.
- Many childhood infections are caused by viruses, and some uncomplicated bacterial infections may not require treatment with antibiotics.
- Studies have shown that almost 40% of antimicrobial prescriptions for children are not prescribed in accordance with clinical guidelines.
- Early antibiotic exposure is associated with increased risk of chronic disease later in life, such as allergy, atopic dermatitis, coeliac disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Refer to Chapter 14 - Antimicrobial stewardship in the care of children
Refer to the section on prescribing rates for different age groups.
Refer to Chapter 3: Antimicrobial use and appropriateness