Every child deserves the best quality medical care possible throughout their growth and development. Parents have no way of providing excellent healthcare for their children if they are not knowledgeable about a few of the most common childhood illnesses circulating in today’s environment.

Kids are not always able to communicate their illness very well, so it helps if parents make an effort to inform themselves. There are some illnesses that seem much more dangerous than a simple vision problem, but they are actually rather benign.

Take a moment to read through this brief overview, focusing upon some of the most common illnesses children face in modern day society, and feel better prepared for the next round of sniffles.

The common cold

Children can have a bought with the common cold up to five times a year due to the ever-changing nature of the virus. A cold is not life-threatening, but it is never very fun.

A mild fever, congestion, stuffy nose, coughing, and a sore throat are all close friends of the common cold. Be prepared to offer plenty of hugs, children’s ibuprofen, and plenty of lemon water popsicles.

Contrary to popular belief, cough and cold medicines should not be the first resort for sick kids. Try avoiding harsh chemicals, and stick to natural remedies as much as possible.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Respiratory Syncytial Virus describes an infection of the airways. It sounds rather serious, but RSV is typically easy to treat. Children under two years of age and those who have preexisting medical problems are at a higher risk of suffering from complications associated with RSV.

RSV is the “most common viral respiratory infection that causes hospitalization in young babies,” says Kathryn Edwards, MD, director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program. The viral infection typically manifests in ways similar to a common cold. The difference is raspy breathing and irritability in the child.

Fifth Disease

Viral, like the other illnesses listed here, Fifth Disease is most common in children ages 5 to 15. Some of the most common symptoms of Fifth Disease are a low-grade fever, cold-like symptoms, and swollen joints.

After the initial onset of symptoms, the child will develop a bright red rash on their face that will spread slowly down their body. If the rash appears, the viral infection is no longer contagious.

Symptoms can take one to three weeks to fully disappear, and a doctor can offer sound advice on how to ease complications.

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Again, Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease is a viral illness that typically is not serious. Children younger than five are the most susceptible to the sickness. It is transferred from one child to another through saliva, fluid-filled blisters, and contact with fecal matter. The sickness usually clears up within 7 to 10 days.

Symptoms for Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease include:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Poor appetite
  • Skin rash on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet

4 COMMENTS

  1. Remember that each disease starts with a different symptom. A pain, injury, discomfort, rare sensations, weakness or difficulty of movement are some of the signs that something is not working well in your child’s body and you have to be alert.

  2. On the positive side, recurrent sneezing that inevitably affects young children effectively helps prevent the disease when they are older. We develop immunity against the cold virus when we are infected and that prevents us from getting sick with the same virus again, at least for a few years.

  3. There is the misconception that it is good to expose children to chickenpox, such as sending them to chickenpox parties, to prevent them getting sick when they are adults. That made sense before we had a vaccine … but it is much better to induce immunity (with a vaccine) without going through the risk of infection and complications of the disease.

    • Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious complications from influenza, but are too young to receive the vaccine. People who care for or live with them should be vaccinated to protect them. When a pregnant woman is vaccinated, the antibody she produces in response to the vaccine passes the developing baby and gives her some protection.

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