As a parent, you do not have a rulebook on how best to take care of your newborn after getting home from the hospital. What happens when the baby gets sick? Are there signs to watch out for? At what point do you have to take her to the doctor?
Since the baby can’t tell you if there is something wrong, you have to figure out all these by yourself. And since babies have a growing immune system, they are more prone to illnesses than adults. That is why colds, cough, or sore throats are a common occurrence in them.
So, what sicknesses does a 1 year old child often get? Knowing the sicknesses that a 1-year old child often gets and their symptoms will prepare you psychologically so that you can get the right treatment as soon as possible. This article, therefore, explains these common illnesses that result from constant exposure to germs, viruses, and bacteria.
Common Illnesses A 1-Year Old Is Susceptible To
By now, I think you are well aware of the parenting drill. Congestion, coughing, mild fever, sore throat, plenty of fluids, and the inevitable long rests. Some of the times, this disease is accompanied by a loss of appetite, feeling tired, headaches, and fever in some children.
Just as the name, colds are a common sickness in babies either from the daily contacts or from the germs they come into contact with. The truth is, there are over 100 viruses that cause common cold in babies. It’s a probable reason for the frequent sneezes, coughs, and sniffles.
For a 1-year old, between 5 and 6 cases of cold in a year should be normal. However, if it’s between 8 and 10, then you should worry. Then again, certain children are at a greater risk than others either from a weak immune system or upper respiratory allergies.
If your child comes down with a cold, lots of sleep ease the condition. For those who have started eating solid foods, they should have plenty of vegetable and fruits in their diet. Moreover, sterilizing baby bottles keeps the pathogens at bay. An antibiotic may not help in this case. Also, don’t smoke while in the house. Secondary smoking aggravates the sickness.
1. Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
This sickness has symptoms that mirror those of a common cold. It is also common in children below the age of 2. This infection of the airways is not serious unless the child is younger than 2 years, has a heart, lung disease or a frail immune system.
In extreme cases, the disease causes inflammation of the lungs, leading to pneumonia. According to doctors, RSV is the sickness that’s responsible for most of the cases of baby hospitalization.
If you hear any wheezing, breathing struggles, extreme lethargy, fast breathes, or refusal to drink any fluid, then you need to call the pediatrician immediately. For this problem, the doctor should be able to prescribe a way of easing the child’s symptoms. Often, a palivizumab (Synagis) drug is used to prevent the development of RSV in children with the highest risk.
Here is another common sickness you need to be wary about before your children reach age 2. Or latest by the time the kid is joining kindergarten, then he/she should be out of the high-risk zone. High fever and grouchiness are the common symptoms occurring for about 3-5 days.
Another thing about this illness is that the accompanying symptoms may be too minor for you to realize that your baby is even sick. Apart from the signs above, a patchy rash that originates from the chest and spreads is noticeable.
While it should be gone within a week, get in touch with the pediatrician if the fever spikes for more than 3 days straight. Meanwhile, you can ease the condition by relieving the discomforting by using ibuprofen while monitoring her at home.
3. Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease
Hand-foot-Mouth disease is a mild, but very contagious viral disease. It occurs frequently in children below age 5 with telltale signs sores in the child’s throat and mouth. These sores are often painful.
This sickness is caused by the coxsackievirus, which flourishes during summer and fall. The condition is highly contagious and easily transfers from child to child through sneezes, coughs, touch or fecal matter.
During the first few days, fever, poor appetite, and a sore throat are the usual symptoms. But when left unattended to after a few days, painful sore crop up in the throat. Similarly, skin rashes develop on the soles and palms.
However, the diaper region and truck do also develop the skin rashes. That being said, this disease will clear up without any treatment after 7-10 days. In the meantime, ease the soring throat with cold fluids and ice pops. Acidic juices shouldn’t be given to the baby.
In case the kid is achy, then a dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen should come in handy for relief.
4. Fifth Disease
Also referred to as slapped cheek syndrome, the fifth disease frequently occurs in children below the age of 3 and sometimes extends to those aged 5. The disease is synonymous with bright-red colored rashes on the cheeks of the child.
Perhaps you can rest easy knowing that the condition is mild in most children. Nonetheless, children with sickle cell anemia and weak immune systems are the most prone to the fifth disease. Signs and symptoms include low fever, cold-like symptoms, and swelling joints.
Another symptom is the appearance of a bright red rash on the face, which then spreads down to the rest of the body. At this time, the fifth disease is not contagious. Rashes may itch alongside the joints and it may take up to 3 weeks for the rashes to disappear.
Before rashes appear, this disease is highly infectious, spreading through pre-schools in a wildfire-like manner.
Similarly known as stomach flu, gastroenteritis is more severe than a regular tummy ache. Worse still, it results in abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. The causal viruses are many, including a norovirus that’s common in childcare facilities as well as cruise ships.
Expect most of these viruses to disappear after a week or so. No more than tender, loving, adequate rest and care is needed to handle this disease. Because of the diarrhea symptom, ensure the child drinks ample amount of water (fluids). Do not give too many fluids at once as the baby is incapable of holding down such amounts of fluid.
Another care routine involves a teaspoon of electrolyte solution after every 15-minute interval. Gradually increase the solution intake. Any juice or Gatorade has to be watered down in half as the high sugar contents exacerbate diarrhea.
Once the child gets her appetite, offer small quantities of bananas, toast, rice, and applesauce until normal eating is restored.
Croup is a viral disease that develops in the voice box and windpipe. It only lasts for a maximum of one week. What’s more, by the time your child reaches age 3, he/she should have had at least an episode of croup disease. This is normal for a 1-year old.
What’s not normal is when the child struggles too much to breathe as a result of croup. Other symptoms range from an abrupt onset of stridor or a barky cough. This type of a cough worsens with each passing night. Fever, running nose, and other signs associated with colds are also to be expected.
According to researchers, up to 50% of children who contract croup at some point in their lives will most likely go through the same episodes. Reasons for this occurrence is down to gender, race, premature birth, and genetics.
Remedies should be aimed at easing the airways. A humidifier or sitting in a steamed bathroom for about 10 minutes are good sources of mist air that provides a reprieve. If you notice difficulty in breathing, noisy breathes, and poor appetite, then take the baby to an ER or call 911. To decrease the swelling in the airways, breathing treatments, cool mist, and steroids are recommended.
This common childhood disease is occasioned by blisters filled with fluids. These blisters are typically found around the child’s mouth, nose, and about anywhere else on the body. Once these blisters break, the fluids ooze out to create a crust in the color of honey.
Impetigo starts when strep-causing bacteria enters a bite, scratch or a cut. Staph bacteria also have the same effect. In case it occurs in a baby, then the diaper area becomes itchy and irritating.
This disease is infectious through body contact with the sores. It is through this transfer mechanism that the sores spread to the rest of the body. Treatment options include either an oral antibiotic or an antibiotic ointment.
Gently cleaning the child using soap and clean gauze as well helps. Since this is a bacterial infection, you have to make an appointment with a doctor immediately.
8. Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis)
Pinkeye is not only limited to a 1-year old. It can quickly spread through your family if the child picks it up. In young kids, the illness is caused by bacteria resulting in the inflammation of the eyelid lining tissues.
The result is a red, yellow discharge coupled with crusty eyes and blurry vision. When caused by bacteria, pinkeye is treated with antibiotic drops. Another type is caused by a virus or allergens in the air. The former case requires no medication while the latter requires allergy eyedrops.
An infected child should not be allowed back to a childcare facility or class until they are treated (usually 24 hours). This sort of isolation aims to prevent the child from rubbing his eyes then sharing blankets, pillows, bathtubs, or towels to avoid infecting others.
When to Call a Doctor
Most of the sicknesses a 1-year-old often get disappear on their own after a couple of days or a week. However, you shouldn’t assume so as sometimes there might be another underlying problem. In case the child shows any of these signs, then give a doctor a call.
- Fever that lasts for over 3 days
- Persistent coughing
- Excessive drowsiness
- Excessive vomiting (more than 4-6 hours)
- Irritability most of the time
- Rapid/difficulty catching breathe
- Black/bloody fecal matter
- Signs of dehydration
So, what sicknesses does a 1 year old child often get? Children are prone to numerous diseases because of their undeveloped immune systems. In fact, this list is not exhaustive enough as there are other sicknesses you should look out for. Examples are bronchiolitis, influenza, strep throat, scarlet fever, ear infections, coughs, Kawasaki disease and pinworms among a host of others.
What is important is recognizing the symptoms and then taking appropriate measures to ease the resulting discomfort. It is also important to prevent the spread of the disease to other children since some of these diseases are contagious.