Children and medication, a question

The latest in the Isabel tummy bug saga: Salmonella.  And another R230.00 worth of medication.

And no, it’s not about the money, it’s about the confusion.  First it was a tummy bug, then it was constipation and now it’s salmonella after they grew a culture for 48 hours.  And we would have known it wasn’t constipation had we only taken an x-ray.

Which reminded me of something I wonder about often: do we overmedicate our children?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m the first one to run to the doctor (more homeopath these days) with a sick child and nothing leaves me feeling more powerless than not being able to ‘fix’ a sick child.  But are we not creating sicker adults by wanting quick fixes to common childhood ailments by pumping our children full of medicine?

I also often wonder of the predicament doctors are in and the pressure us worried parents put on them to ensure our children get better sooner.  And whether this pressure doesn’t lead to more children being over-medicated as a result.  I grew up believing that doctors are the be all and end all, but since I’ve had children I have realised that they are also only human.

Consider this:

  1. At what point do you medicate for a fever?  And what do you give for a garden-variety fever?
  2. When you get a script from a doctor, do you take all the medicine prescribed and charge it to your medical aid or do you interrogate question what everything is for and what it’s meant to do.
  3. Do you question the quantities of medicine that gets dispensed so you aren’t stuck with weird and wonderful stuff that just fills your medicine cupboard?
  4. Do you have MSA? (Medical Savings Account)  If you do, do you believe it is the best way to manage your medical expenses?

These are some real questions we have had to deal with the last 5 years and we all just want the best for our children, but are we really acting in their best interest?

I’ll come back tomorrow and tell you what we do 🙂