Even healthy children are extremely vulnerable to common viruses, allergies, and illnesses. Antibiotics are used more and more frequently for childhood ailments, but one problem with this is the possibility of overuse. Bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics when this form of medicine is over-diagnosed or becomes too common. Western and traditional Chinese medicine doctors are combining efforts to educate the public about the problems with, and misuse of antibiotics, as well as the available alternatives for children. Children are some of the patients that are most susceptible to the stronger, more resistant strains of bacteria that are created by the over-diagnosis of antibiotics.
Among the alternatives to antibiotics is traditional Chinese medicine. A gentler, subtler approach for children is Chinese herbal therapy, as well as various forms of massage, acupuncture, and specific dietary guidelines. Some of the problems that these methods can easily alleviate include colds, ear infections, allergies, and even skin problems such as eczema, which has a strong correlation to breathing problems like asthma. Herbal formulas and eardrops have been known to quickly cure extreme ear infections in infants. Also, parents are often taught techniques used in Tui na massage, a practice which is meant to re-energize a person's qi (life force), open the body's defensive abilities, and get the energy moving in both the meridians and the muscles.