White children have a far higher risk of becoming resistant to essential antibiotics than others because they are prescribed unnecessary medication at twice the rate, a new report has revealed.
The findings, published on Tuesday, shed light on a bitterly ironic catch to the fact that caucasians typically have better access to healthcare than blacks and Latinos.
The study by the Children's National Health System looked at the differences in care that minorities and white children receive in emergency departments.
It concluded that antibiotics are too often prescribed for viral infections - despite the fact that they cannot be treated with antibiotics.
The research comes as the world's health authorities are calling for doctors to consider alternative treatments as life-threatening superbugs become increasingly resistant to our most reliable form of medication.
White children are more likely to be prescribed antibiotics to treat viral infections, which cannot be treated by antibiotics. This is dangerous because it makes them more likely to become resistant to antibiotics, which are used to treat a number of illnesses (file photo)
Bacteria will eventually find ways to resist man-made antibiotics, meaning that humans can no longer successfully use them to treat illnesses.
The CDC has warned that nobody is completely safe from antibiotic-resistant infections.
These infections are hard to treat. Often the treatments for them are expensive or toxic.
The CDC has given tips on how to protect yourself from antibiotic-resistant infections:Wash your hands to reduce the spread of respiratory and diarrheal illnesses Make sure you have up-to-date vaccines Make sure you are drinking and using clean water Reduce your chances of contracting or spreading sexually transmitted diseases
The study's researchers looked at about 40,000 cases of viral infections among children in seven different pediatric emergency rooms in 2013.
The average age of the children studied was a little over three years old and about three percent of them were given oral, intramuscular or intravenous