Infection accounts for approximately half of all paediatric admissions to hospital and an even greater proportion of primary care. Guidelines on duration of antibiotic therapy exist, but antibiotic therapy for children needs to be individualised. If a child is not improving the clinical condition and treatment should be reviewed and/or discussed with an expert. However, slavishly completing the recommended course of antibiotics in a child who is well, may not be appropriate. Recent studies on treatment duration advocate shortened courses with certain caveats, but guidelines and clinical practice do not always follow the evidence from the few randomised trials of treatment duration of infection.
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