World Antimicrobial Awareness Week

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2023

18th to 24th November

‘Preventing antimicrobial resistance together’

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites no longer respond to antimicrobial agents. As a result of drug resistance, antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents become ineffective and infections become difficult or impossible to treat, increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.

The World AMR Awareness Week (WAAW) is a global campaign to raise awareness and understanding of AMR and promote best practices to reduce the emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections.

In the South West we are focussing on children with coughs. More information about caring for children with coughs can be found here.

As you know, 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.  However, many parents of young children can be very worried when their children are unwell and would welcome support and guidance on what to do and when to seek help.

Coughs can last for 3-4 weeks and make children feel quite unwell but they will still get better by themselves. ‘Noisy chests’ or ‘chesty coughs’ are quite common when young children catch a cold and are not necessarily a sign of a ‘chest infection’. Healthy children typically get a cough 7-10 times a year and this is not a sign that there is anything wrong with their immune system.

Antibiotics may help a very severe bacterial infection.  Most bacterial infections will get better without treatment.  Most children who take antibiotics do not get better any faster than people who do not take them. Children with bronchitis (chesty coughs) who take antibiotics will have a cough for only half a day less than those who don’t and may develop side effects from the antibiotics (such as diarrhoea).

Antibiotics will not help coughs which are caused by viral infections, even when these infections are very bad.

We hope you are able to add the leaflet and/ or the link to the Caring for children with coughs public facing website to your website and/or newsletters. This website includes lots of useful information for families including advice on going to school or nursery. 

FURTHER RESOURCES

You can find out more about World AMR Awareness Week and Antimicrobial Resistance in the following website

World AMR Awareness Week (who.int)

Everybody can pledge to become an Antibiotic Guardian including families and educators:

Antibiotic Guardian – Pledge to be an Antibiotic Guardian

You can also access whole host of educational resources aligned to the national curriculum at eBug:

Home (e-bug.eu)

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