Caring for children with coughs this winter


18 – 24 November is World Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness Week and this year in our local area we are focusing on caring for children with coughs.

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.

As a result of drug resistance, antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines become ineffective and infections become increasingly difficult or impossible to treat.

Antimicrobial resistance is a big problem – taking antibiotics when you do not need them can mean they may not work for you in the future. It’s important that you always take your doctor, pharmacist or nurse’s advice on whether you need antibiotics or not.

Coughs and colds are a common part of childhood, especially during the winter. Most of these infections are caused by viruses and children recover quickly with a bit of rest and paracetamol, without the need for antibiotics.

The Caring for Children with Coughs website, created by researchers at the University of Bristol, is a useful tool with lots of guidance far parents and carers of children about what to do when your child has a cough, when to see a doctor and going to school or nursery. The site also includes a downloadable leaflet.

For further advice on common childhood illnesses, the NHS website has lots of information and guidance that can help you identify your child’s condition and what to do next.

Find out more about World Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness Week

You can find out more about World Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness Week and Antimicrobial Resistance on the World Health Organization (WHO) website.

You can also help to keep antibiotics working by becoming an Antibiotic Guardian. Choose a simple pledge about how you’ll make better use of antibiotics and encourage family members and friends to do the same.