Health – for primary school
People who are sick often get better without a treatment. Sometimes a treatment does not help and may even make things worse.
Treatments can keep you from getting sick or make you better if you do get sick. However, when people are sick, they often get better without a treatment. Sometimes a treatment may make things worse. Treatments to keep you from getting sick also may not be needed, if your chances of getting sick without the treatment are very small.
You need to know what would happen without a treatment to decide whether the treatment is needed. For example, most people with a sore throat will get better without a medicine (antibiotics).
Antibiotics attack the germs (bacteria) that sometimes cause sore throats. They can make a sore throat go away a little bit more quickly, but you do not need antibiotics to get better.
People with a sore throat sometimes get very sick. Treating a sore throat with antibiotics can make the chances of getting very sick smaller, but for people with good living conditions, the chances of getting very sick are very small to begin with.
When people don’t take a medicine, such as antibiotics, it is not the same as having “no treatment”. Just waiting to see what happens (“letting nature take its course”) is a kind of treatment.
BEWARE when someone says that a “treatment is needed”.
REMEMBER: The treatment might not be needed. Waiting to see what happens is sometimes a better choice.