Concern is being raised by healthcare experts after a study found children are being given too many courses of antibiotics - which could have long term consequences.
A new study from, the University of Auckland’s Centre for Longitudinal Research, has revealed that 97 percent of children use antibiotics at least once before their fifth birthday, and an average of eight times by then.
LISTEN ABOVE: Author Dr Mark Hobbs spoke with Mike Hosking about the study's findings
Study author Dr Mark Hobbs found a lot more antibiotics were being dished out in winter, which "suggests a lot of it is being used for winter coughs and colds, which is a viral illness, and don't require antibiotics."
"That puts us at risk of the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria."
There is major concern in the international medical community about the spread of illness-causing bacteria which have developed resistance against commonly used antibiotics - largely due to to overuse or misuse of the medicine.
Dr Hobbs pointed out guidelines already recommend children aren't given antibiotics.
"What I think is most important is that patients and parents feel empowered to discuss with their GP the reasoning behind getting a prescription for antibiotics, and whether or not it's actually likely to be helpful for the condition that they have," Hobbs said.