An Australia-wide telephone survey of parents of at least one child aged 1–12 years was conducted in 2014 to explore parent beliefs about antibiotics and quantify their expectations for these medicines to manage common symptoms caused by acute respiratory tract infections (RTIs).1

Results from this survey (401 parent interviews) confirmed that the majority of parents overestimate the power of antibiotics for acute coughs, sore throats and acute otitis media.1 

Acute coughs

1 in 2 parents believe antibiotics are beneficial.1

Sore throats

7 in 10 parents believe antibiotics are beneficial.1

Acute otitis media

9 in 10 parents believe antibiotics are beneficial.1

When reassurance is the only prescription parents require

A study of focus group interviews with mothers of young children showed that the participants expected antibiotics if their child was sick for longer than expected,2 which highlights the need to educate parents on the usual duration of common childhood RTI symptoms. 

Use the Childhood RTI Fact Sheet: What every parent should know to give parents the reassurance they need to manage the symptoms of common childhood RTIs when antibiotics are not recommended.