Wash your hands, catch your sneezes and make sure you take antibiotics properly is the message from Year 3 pupils in Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES) who have taken part in an antibiotic awareness competition.
B&NES Council and Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (BaNES CCG) led the campaign with the support of Sirona Care and Health, local public health representatives and national and international science educators.
The school children, aged seven years, received lessons in the Autumn 2016 term about what we can all do to help prevent infections spreading – like washing our hands.
They also learned about the importance of vaccination, taking antibiotics properly and that antibiotics do not work for viruses like coughs and colds.
In the year to November 2016, 26 per cent of 0-10 year-olds in B&NES were prescribed antibiotics by their GP at least once.
Furthermore, over half of all prescriptions for antibiotics were for respiratory infections such as ear ache, sore throat and cough, which usually get better on their own.
The pupils designed posters to illustrate what they had learned and these posters were judged by a panel of local health leaders and are now on display around the region.
Dr Bruce Laurence, Director of Public Health in B&NES who was one of the judges said: “The quality of the posters was extremely high, the children had clearly taken on board the sometimes complex messages about looking after our health and our antibiotics.
“It was difficult to pick winners as all the entrants had put in a lot of work – I am looking forward to seeing the posters out in the community.”
Dr Ian Orpen, local GP and Clinical Chair of BaNES CCG who also judged the posters said: “This is a fantastic effort by so many inspired children. The messages are simply displayed and powerfully delivered.”
The winners and runners-up attended a small prize-giving ceremony at the Chairman of B&NES Council Alan Hale’s office in Bath’s Guildhall. Councillor Hale presented the children with their certificates and prizes.
Copies of all the posters that were entered into the competition are on display in and around B&NES, including libraries, the Royal United Hospital, One Stop Shops, leisure centres and in central Bath shop fronts in Milsom Street, Stall Street and Westgate Street.
Anyone who spots one of the posters is invited to take a photo of it, and upload that photo to social media sites with the hashtag #AntibioticGuardian, to show how quickly we can spread the messages the children have illustrated.
Everyone can help protect antibiotics by becoming an Antibiotic Guardian. Visit www.antibioticguardian.com to make a pledge and discover ways you and your family can help stop the spread of infection and help protect antibiotics.