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C. diff on Rise in Kids -- and Outside Hospital

Study Shows Cases of Dangerous Diarrhea Bug Increased 12-Fold Among Children

Avoiding C. Diff

So, what should parents do to keep their children safe from C. diff?

First and foremost, don't demand antibiotics if your doctor says your child doesn't need them, Bernstein tells WebMD. Nearly 50% of antibiotics are inappropriately prescribed, according to Jan E. Patterson, MD, president of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

Studies also suggest the majority of people who take the popular class of stomach acid-reducing drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) -- including Aciphex, Dexilant, Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, and Protonix -- don't need them. The FDA issued a statement in February 2012 that use of PPIs may be linked to an increased risk of C. diff diarrhea. The FDA advises that patients taking PPIs should contact their health care provider and seek care if they take PPIs and develop diarrhea that doesn't improve.

Other steps for prevention, according to Khanna:

  • Make sure your children wash their hands with soap and water.
  • Clean suspected contaminated surfaces like countertops with bleach-based solutions.
  • Avoid contact with people who are known to have C diff.

These findings were presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary, as they have not yet undergone the "peer review" process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

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