As part of its ongoing effort to combat the increase in resistance to antibiotics, a UK health agency recommended doctors test the urine of young children before prescribing antibiotics for urinary tract infections. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recently advised pediatricians to avoid prescribing antibiotics for common ear infections.
A dipstick test will show if the child’s body is fighting an infection. If the results are negative, antibiotics should not be prescribed for children aged 3 months to 3 years, according to updated guidance from NICE.
Children over 3 years old may need antibiotics if the test shows mixed results and they have obvious symptoms of an infection, such as painful urination, NICE said. Children under three months old should not have a dipstick test. If an infection is suspected, they should be referred to a specialist and their urine sent for laboratory analysis, the agency said.