"I have to explain [to parents] that we might cause them harm by causing them to have resistant germs that are harder to treat at a later time," said Messmer.
Instead of asking for doctors to reach for the prescription pad to treat a virus, Brown suggested giving your pediatrician as much information about your child's illness as possible.
"Ask your doctor what to expect for the duration of the illness and, 'What can I do to make my child feel better for the illness?'" said Brown. "'What should I be looking out for that means that my child may be getting worse?'"
"I like to tell parents to ask what they can do to help their child feel better sooner, rather than asking for an antibiotic," said Besser.
"It's all in the way that you ask the question," said Brown. "Asking for more information is a good start."
For more information on antibiotics and its uses, go to: www.cdc.gov/getsmart