Every time there is a weather change, many kids fall prey to a hacking cough or loose motions. To give them quick relief, worried parents give them antibiotics more often than required. The case is similar with antacids. Our kids eat out often like us at odd times, and the resultant ‘stomach aches’ that occur are drowned in the sea of antacids.
But have we ever thought of the long term repercussions of these drugs have on the health of our children? A new study has warned that prolonged consumption of these might alter the gut microbes associated with weight gain and lead to obesity.
Researchers studied the medicines prescribed to 333,353 youngsters, whose medical records were in the US Military Health System database between 2006 and 2013, in the first two years of their lives.
It was found that for a prescription of antibiotic was prescribed, children had a 26% chance of developing obesity, according to the study.
An overexposure to antibiotics might cause an antibiotic resistance even in adults. When given often to young children whose gut flora are developing, the risks are worse. Having a rich, varied gut microbe population lowers the risk of several diseases and greatly improves immunity. How can children develop a healthy gut? Here are few ways:
Babies who are breastfed naturally develop more gut-friendly bacteria. The friendly bacteria from the mother’s milk gets passed onto the baby. Hence, breastfeeding your baby as long as possible is the first step to gut health.
A fibre-rich diet does not only help ease constipation, it is the fodder for gut bacteria. Children must have a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, pulses and legumes. In absence of a good diet, bacteria can feed off the mucus lining of the intestine, which will inturn hamper a child’s immunity
Go Pro biotic
Probiotics are key to maintaining gut health. Buttermilk, curds, unsweetened yogurt and other fermented foods must be had daily. Avoid bottled probiotic drinks that are sold in the market, they usually contain sugar.
Play in the mud
Yes, you heard right. Microbes in the mud offer far more benefits than the chemicals in the cleaners. Exposure to soil and air microbes does wonders to our body. This does not mean we must feed our child mud (though that’s a great way to get those microbes in). It means allowing them to get themselves muddy, play in the sand, play with pets, swim in the sea or do some gardening.
So the next time your child falls ill, go easy on the drugs. Nature has its own natural ways to solve the problem, and it all begins with a healthy gut.
Disclaimer: Information has been sourced from sciencedaily