HARRISBURG, Pa., March 23, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Department of Health today joined national and state-based partners to support and promote the appropriate use of antibiotics by launching the fourth-annual Get Smart Competition for Young Artists and Writers. Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine kicked off the competition today by presenting awards to 2015 competition winners and encouraging the public to help spread the word about the 2016 competition.
The art contest is open to all children ages 12 years and younger who reside in Pennsylvania. This competition gives children the opportunity to showcase their creativity and help spread the word about the importance of hand hygiene, vaccines, and appropriate antibiotic use.
"Antibiotic resistance is a national and global public health threat that has been created due to overuse and misuse of antibiotics in children and adults," said Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy. "The department is honored to sponsor this art competition to engage children in activities that promote using antibiotics responsibly. By avoiding unnecessary antibiotics, we can help keep all Pennsylvanians safe from many potential health complications."
Each year, as many as 10 million children are at risk for harmful side effects from antibiotics that are prescribed unnecessarily for illnesses. Many infections experienced by young people, such as the common cold, earaches, and sore throats, are largely caused by viruses, which are not cured by antibiotics.
"Teaching children about how to prevent the transmission of disease and the emergence of antibiotic resistance is critical," said Dr. Jeffery Gerber, a physician at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Using artistic expression to empower these children to spread this important message is brilliant."
Get Smart art competition submissions will be accepted from March 23 through October 31, 2016. Contest winners will be announced during National Get Smart Week, November 14-20, 2016. For information about entry rules and submissions, visit www.KnowWhenToSayNo.org.
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health