As a responsible parent, you do everything you can to protect your children from all sorts of harm and keep them away from the potential health risks. As they are delicate little human beings, they are susceptible to different kinds of illnesses that may lead to more health complications.
Prevention is key. One effective way to avert the adverse outcomes of these illnesses is to be aware of the common health problems and sickness that occur in children. Educating yourself about these issues and the available treatments will help your children live a healthier life today and in the long run. Truly, they deserve the best care and attention.
The following list uncovers the common sickness in children that you should know about. Keeping yourself aware of these health issues will help you come up with the most effective prevention or solution when your children have already been suffering from any of it.
1. Common Cold
Although this has also been a typical health problem among adults, do know that children can also suffer from the common cold. When the upper respiratory tract contracts viruses, infections develop and colds take place. Children may catch a cold through physical contact from someone who has it, like a sneeze, a cough, or even a simple handshake. Sharing the utensils and children toys with that sick person can also be another way to transfer the virus.
The symptoms of the common cold includes a runny nose and a low fever. Sometimes, it is also associated with cough and sore throat that keeps the child from eating. It starts with a runny nose where a clear liquid comes out of the nose. Since it is quite typical, over-the-counter medications have been available. Drinking plenty of water and taking a lot of rest will help your child recover.
However, there are times when a colored and thick mucus becomes visible which can imply a possible infection that needs to be treated with antibiotics prescribed by the doctor.
Cough is usually associated with cold. It is also caused by viruses that can also be transferred from a sick person. It is a health condition that most parents don’t usually worry about and typically not very serious. Just like colds, cough in children can also be treated through over-the-counter medications and natural remedies. However, it is always best to consult your pediatrician if your child is currently taking medications for another illness or has allergies.
Although cough is quite common, it is a health condition you can’t just brush off. You must consult your doctor right away when it becomes persistent and gets worse. It may be a sign of other serious illnesses such as asthma, pneumonia, croup, and whooping cough.
Fever lines up along the common illnesses in children that usually indicate infection or an underlying condition that needs to be addressed immediately. It can be worrying for some parents but fever is the body’s response to fight any occurring infection. When the infection is treated, the fever will just go away and your child will be back to normal.
Using a thermometer, you can check your child’s temperature for any abnormalities. The normal temperature ranges between 36.5°C and 37.5°C. However, any fluctuation in the temperature depends on what activity your child has engaged in, the part of the body where the temperature has been taken, and the time of the day.
Fever does not usually cause severe effects but it can cause discomfort and pain to your child. It is usually accompanied by shivering or chills and your child can sweat a lot. The treatment, however, can be provided at home. Paracetamol and Ibuprofen are usually given to children as a medication to relieve the pain and lower the temperature. But it is immensely vital to get the right dosage for your child to prevent any side effects.
When the fever does not seem to go away and the temperature is very high, you need to consult your doctor away. There might be underlying causes that aggravate your child’s condition.
When children have ingested something they shouldn’t have, have eaten too much, or have been poisoned, vomiting happens. It can be pretty alarming for the parents to see their child vomit and feel weak. As it can cause discomfort, pain, and stomach cramps, the child may lose the appetite and would not want to eat or drink. In this case, forcing the child to eat or drink won’t be the right thing to do as it can just end up in more vomit. You should wait until your child feels a bit better and asks for something to drink. You can also go on feeding your child with soft foods like mashed potatoes, soups, and rice.
If your child has allergies, you should always be careful of what food to give whether you eat at home or eat out in a restaurant. Vomiting is also caused by motion sickness and gastroenteritis or known as stomach flu.
Diarrhea is when the child defecates a watery stool that usually has an offensive smell. Your child may go on frequent bathroom breaks which can cause discomfort and stomach cramps. This happens when your child contracts bacteria, germs, and viruses from untidy surroundings, toys, and food. Food poisoning, intestinal obstruction, and food allergies are also some of the causes.
When diarrhea occurs, your child loses a lot of fluids in the body that may lead to dehydration. To prevent this, drinking plenty of water is a must to help your child rehydrate. Bananas and drinks with probiotics may also help.
Proper hygiene and cleanliness should be provided to eliminate the bacteria, germs, and viruses that can lead to diarrhea. When you’re preparing food for your children, make sure to clean your hands thoroughly before and after the preparation. Teaching your children the proper hygiene is also a must as they often get in contact with a lot of things, the elements in the environment, and different people.
Measles infects children through an airborne virus. If your child is not vaccinated, he or she is likely to have it.
When a child gets infected, red rashes become visible in almost all parts of the body. Symptoms such as fever, sore throat, runny nose usually take place. The child may feel weak. On the third or fourth day, these rashes are like tiny lumps that become more visible and can be really uncomfortable for the child. This illness can last for about 10 days.
The best way to prevent measles is through vaccination. You can ask your pediatrician about the schedule when your child should be vaccinated for measles.
7. RSV or Respiratory Syncytial Virus
Children who are under 2 years old are susceptible to this kind of illness. RSV or Respiratory Syncytial Virus is not really a severe case. Some of the symptoms include runny nose, cough, nasal congestion, sneezing, difficulties in breathing, and fever. However, treatments and medications are available to address this illness.
On the other hand, if your child is suffering from a lung disease or has heart problems, it may lead to pneumonia. A weak immune system may also trigger further complications, especially on young babies.
8. Fifth Disease
Fifth disease is not a very serious infection. It is quite common in kids from 5 to 15 years old. This illness manifests red rashes usually on the face and other parts of the body. As it is viral, it is contagious and can infect other children, particularly those who are living under the same roof. It includes symptoms such as fever, swollen joints, and runny nose. The red rashes can also be really itchy. Fifth disease usually lasts about 1 to 3 weeks.
9. Sore Throat
Sore throat occurs due to an infection caused by streptococcal bacteria. Also known as strep throat, this bacteria is typically present at the back of the throat including the tonsils. Hence, the illness tonsillitis. It can be painful when swallowing. The tonsils become swollen and red and white spots are commonly visible. Associated with sore throat are symptoms like fever, headache, and sometimes nausea. In this case, your pediatrician may prescribe medications to alleviate the pain and eliminate the symptoms.
Bronchitis display cold-like symptoms such as runny nose, mild fever, sore throat, and cough. It is a very common illness in children that can be treated through proper medications prescribed by the pediatrician. However, it may cause discomfort to your child which makes him difficult to sleep, eat or play. Apart from the prescribed medications, plenty of rest and drinking a lot of fluids can alleviate the symptoms.
What You Can Do
Proper nourishment is an essential way to boost your child’s defense against these illnesses. You can seek help from your pediatrician on what vaccines your child should get and the vitamins you can give your child to strengthen the immune system.
Maintaining cleanliness and proper hygiene will also keep your child healthy at all times. It is also much better to help your child out in learning the proper hygiene such as washing hands before and after eating and after using the toilet. Do not forget to change the bed sheets every now and then, ideally every week to thoroughly eliminate the bacteria, germs, and viruses.
When To Consult Your Pediatrician
As a parent, you know when your child is not feeling well. If you think there is something wrong, do not gamble your child’s health with your own medications. If any of these illnesses are persistent, always consult your pediatrician for professional help.