10 Common Childhood Illnesses
As parents, the number one spot in our "NO" list is for our kids to get sick. We want them as healthy as possible. Nonetheless, there are times that our kids get sick no matter how much precautions we do. In such case, we need to be equipped with as much information as possible so that we know and act accordingly. Here are 10 common childhood illnesses you should know about:
Pneumonia is a serious lung disease caused by infection and leads to difficulty in breathing and chest pain. A very young baby will often get pneumonia when exposed to cigarette smoke or secondhand tobacco smoke, which can irritate the lining of the lungs and cause them to swell up with fluid which blocks air from getting in.
A sore throat is pain, scratchiness or irritation of the throat that often worsens when you swallow. The most common cause of a sore throat (pharyngitis) is a viral infection, such as a cold or the flu.
Sore throats are very frequent in children and it is very painful. However, sore throats are not only caused by one factors and the treatments are depending on the causes itself. Sore throat caused by a virus doesn't need antibiotics, this kind of sore throat doesn't need any medications at all and should get better in seven to ten days.
Nevertheless, there are also sore throats that need lab test or in-office rapid test to get an official diagnosis. This type of sore throat is caused by an infection called streptococcal and needs antibiotics to heal.
The good news is that babies and toddlers rarely get streptococcal unless they get infected by adults through coughs and sneezing, and also if they touched a toy that is already infected.
Ear pain is very common in children, but it has many causes. It has a lot of type as well such as ear infection (otitis media), swimmer's ear (infection of the skin in the ear canal), pressure from a cold or sinus infection, teeth pain radiating up the jaw to the ear, and others. You can assess your child's ear pain depending on the days before he got the infection, if you went to the beach or he had been in the waters in the past days then it must be a swimmer's ear. However, we can't really assume and diagnose by ourselves, a pediatrician should check your child's ear or conduct an in-office exam to have an accurate diagnosis.
If ever your child's ear pain involves both ears, accompanied by fever, and has other signs of illness, then his pediatrician may decide to give him antibiotics.
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary system — your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract — the bladder and the urethra. Feeling a burning sensation during urination, frequently urinating and needing to urinate urgently, abdominal pain, side or back pain, and sometimes bedwetting of the child even if he knows how to use the toilet are some of the symptoms of UTI.
A urine sample will be needed by your child doctor in order to know the treatment, because treatments may vary depending on the bacteria found in the urine.
Bronchitis is an infection of the main airways of the lungs (bronchi), causing them to become irritated and inflamed. The main symptom is a cough, which may bring up yellow-grey mucus (phlegm). Bronchitis may also cause a sore throat and wheezing.
Oftentimes, bronchitis is used to describe a chest virus and does not really require antibiotics.
Bronchiolitis is a viral infection that causes the airways (bronchioles) in the lungs to become narrow, which makes breathing difficult. It occurs most often in children under age 2 during winter and early spring.
This often occurs in infants and children during the cold and flu season. In most cases, bronchiolitis is caused by a virus which does not require antibiotics. Recommendations for treatments are mostly leaning towards making your child comfortable with close monitoring for any difficulty breathing, eating, or any signs of dehydrations.
Doctors may hear wheezing when you child breathes. Although, asthma medicines are not recommended for most infants and young children with bronchiolitis.
The common cold is a viral infection of your nose and throat (upper respiratory tract). It's usually harmless, although it might not feel that way. Many types of viruses can cause a common cold.
Usually, colds are caused by viruses in the upper respiratory tract and they will never need antibiotics. However, if your child's cold persists for more than a week, is particularly severe or has any symptoms of concern then it's a good idea to take him to see his pediatrician.
Diarrhea is loose, liquid bowel movements or stools. There are many types of diarrhea, such as food poisoning, which are caused by viruses or bacteria that enter the body and spread quickly, and inflammatory diarrhea (also called inflammatory bowel disease). Inflammatory diarrhea begins with loose, watery stools that then become semi-formed. It usually has many causes and the normal course of treatment is to make the child drink small amounts of fluid often or giving laxatives.
If your child's diarrhea lasts more than a week and he is not gaining weight, then it's a good idea to take him to see his pediatrician.
Bacterial sinusitis is a bacterial infection of the paranasal sinuses, the hollow spaces in the bones of the face around the nose.
Sinusitis is suspected when cold-like symptoms such as nasal discharge, daytime cough, or both last over ten days without improvement.
If this condition is accompanied by thick yellow nasal discharge and a fever for at least 3 or 4 days in a row then an antibiotic may be needed to cure.
There are many causes of a cough. It may be a viral infection, such as a cold or flu, or it may be the result of an allergy, an irritant, such as cigarette smoke or perfume.
When your child has a cough for several days that won't go away with rest or over-the-counter cold medicines and you notice other symptoms such as chest pain or trouble breathing, then it's time to see the pediatrician.
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