Although there is evidence that oral antibiotic prescriptions for children have decreased since the 1990s, antibiotic resistance continues to be a problem. This study evaluated the caregivers' understanding of antibiotic use for their children and identified demographic characteristics that may contribute to inappropriate antibiotic-seeking behavior. Caregivers were asked how often the child should receive antibiotics for common medical conditions and about factors to improve patient compliance. This study found that caregivers overexpected antibiotic use with upper respiratory infection, ear infection, and pneumonia. Caretakers with lower incomes and on Medicaid comprised the higher percentage of overusers. The most important factors to improve patient compliance were explanation of the name and indication for antibiotic use. This study showed that demographic variables play a role in caregivers' expectations of antibiotic use. Effective communication of physicians with caregivers on antibiotic use can be an important strategy to improve patient compliance. © The Author(s) 2012.