There is a perceived fear that someone with asthma, especially a child, will develop a secondary infection that will turn into pneumonia. Because of this, the parental expectation and physician actions lead to a massive overprescribing of antibiotics for children with asthma. The long term devastation to our childrens’ health as a result of this behavior is significant.
Sort of ironic that antibiotics and the destruction of normal flora in the gut are associated with the development of asthma in the first place. Asthma is a Th2 dominated immune state. I call it overdevelopment of the “guard dogs” of our immune system. The presence of healthy normal flora in the gut strengthens the Th1 systems, which I refer to as the immune system’s “attack dogs.” Destruction of the bacteria that are supposed to be there weakens Th1. So, weakening of the attack dogs (antibiotics, poor quality diets, no breastfeeding, C-section) coupled with overdevelopment of the guard dogs (vaccinations) leads to conditions like asthma.
The bottom line is that the greatest concern with antibiotics is NOT the development of antibiotic resistant superbugs (although that is a little scary), but rather the complete disruption of immune function that occurs when our healthy bacteria are destroyed. Any use of antibiotics when they are not absolutely essential is a bad thing. The best we can do if we do overuse is make sure we replace the destroyed flora with probiotics.
Also, in regards to the asthmatic kids, try getting them off of hydrogenated oils, refined carbs and artificial colors / sweeteners. You may be surprised at how well they do.