Are Kids overmedicated - Essay Example

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It is emerging with a lot of concern that kids are receiving lots of medication some of which are not called for and may have adverse effects on the health of children. Studies are increasingly…
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Running Head: Overmedication in Kids. A point of debate has emerged lately over the health and medication of our children. It is emerging with a lot of concern that kids are receiving lots of medication some of which are not called for and may have adverse effects on the health of children. Studies are increasingly suggesting overmedication in children. It seems like pediatricians are prescribing more and more antibiotics, parents are not keenly observing the mediation and the society at large is likely to be affected. The question to be answered is whether kids are being overmedicated and if yes what the probable consequences of the practice are. In this paper I will be attempting shade more light on the whole topic of overmedication in kids by answering the questions.
There is evidence pointing at the fact that pediatricians are prescribing over ten million antibiotics for unnecessary cases e.g. common flu, asthma and even in some cases headache. The Centers for Disease Control also report that over ten thousand kids are on psychostimulant drugs such as Ritalin. It was estimated that approximately 7.5% of children in the United States in the age ranges of six years to seventeen were using medicines for behavior and emotional problems as at 2011. The number of children on psychostimulants has been rising sharply in the past few years. What this means is that there are many children out here receiving either antibiotics, drugs for behavioral problems or many others in large numbers that can be avoided.
It points to an interesting fact; either the psychiatrists or medical doctors are overwhelmed or too busy to take enough time and provide quality service. It could also mean that parents are very busy give their children healthy home environments. Also schools must take a portion of the blame for their busy schedules that limit recess time or completely do not have activities for children to relax. Pharmaceutical companies should be blamed largely for the overmedication being reported in kids due to their marketing campaigns which are mostly driven by profitmaking (Insel, 2014).
The consequences of overmedication can be devastating considering the health of these kids who are still growing. Overt and under-treatment are some of the consequences. Due to carelessness or clinicians being to busy, the children are subjected to medication even when conditions can be manage by therapy for instance in the case of psychostimulants. Antibiotic over or misuse may arise especially in situations where diagnosis is very uncertain e.g. in infections of the ears. Sometimes they are prescribed for conditions that are simply not caused by bacteria yet the drugs will specifically target bacteria. This could lead to the elimination of stomach bacteria with adverse effects such as antibiotic resistance and asthma.
In conclusion therefore there is enough reason for the growing debate over children being overmedicated. The consequences include drug dependence, antibiotic resistance or development of conditions such as asthma due to the wiping of essential bacteria in the stomach. The blame lies on both the prescribing professionals, parents, the schools and pharmaceutical companies. It is recommended therefore for parents to be more proactive when handling the health of their children. They should demand the doctors’ explanations for medications including antibiotics prescribed for their children and in cases where there are any doubts seek a second opinion or wait for a clearer diagnosis.

1. Genevra Pittman. (2011). Millions of Kids’ Antibiotics Rx’s Unneeded: Study. Reuters. Available at:
2. Thomas Insel. (2014). Director’s Blog: Are Children Overmedicated? National Institute of Mental Health. Available at: Read More
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