All children deserve a high quality of medical care. As a parent, it is essential to know the most up-to-date treatment guidelines to ensure your child is getting the best care possible. As a parent, your number one priority should be ensuring that your child is happy and healthy.
Despite all the best efforts, eventually, all children become ill. Children usually get sick after reaching six months as the immunity they’ve had from their mother starts to fade. For many kids beginning school for the first time will bring many firsts: their first day of school, their first teacher, their first best friend, and for most, their first rounds of common childhood illnesses.
Many common childhood illnesses run their course on their own or clear up with rest and medication. However, some symptoms are indicators that you should contact your child’s doctor. Seek medical advice if your child has a suppressed immune system, diabetes, asthma, or other chronic illness, shows signs of dehydration, has a high fever, or has difficulty breathing.
Most Common Childhood Diseases and Disorders
The common cold is considered one of the most common childhood illnesses. They are caused by viruses spreading easily in places where people have close contact with one another. Many young children get 6 to 8 colds per year. Your doctor will decide the best treatment option based on your child’s symptoms and a physical exam.
Conjunctivitis is known by the more common name “pink eye.” The signs of this condition include redness, discharge, itchiness, and swelling in one or both eyes. There are many causes, but the contagious type is caused by a bacteria or virus that gets into the eye.
If your child’s eye looks pink or shows signs of discharge or crustiness, you should take them to a pediatrician immediately. Your child should isolate until feeling better, especially from siblings and other kids. Make sure to also wash the clothes and blankets that your child uses to ensure it doesn’t spread to other individuals in your home.
Stomach Flu (Gastroenteritis)
Gastroenteritis, also known as the stomach flu, is caused by a virus that can spread quickly. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Usually, the symptoms disappear within a couple of days. Other symptoms include muscle aches, abdominal pain, and a slight fever. You should avoid other people as stomach flu is contagious. Bring your child to a doctor if the symptoms persist or worsen.
Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HMFD) is very contagious but not very serious. It is most common in infants and children younger than five years old according to the CDC. Symptoms may include skin rash, fever, mouth sores, and flu-like symptoms. You should keep your child home, so the infection won’t spread to other children.
Ear pain is common in children and can be due to ear infection (otitis media), swimmer’s ear, pressure from a cold or sinus infection, teeth pain radiating up the jaw to the ear, and others. In fact, the best way for your pediatrician to make an accurate diagnosis is to do an in-office exam.
Sore throats are common in children, and they can be painful. Sore throats caused by a virus should get better in seven to ten days. Some sore throats can be caused by an infection called streptococcal (strep throat). A lab test is necessary to confirm the diagnosis of strep, which requires medication.
Influenza is a type of virus that spreads easily through infected people’s coughs or sneeze. This common childhood illness has symptoms including fever, sore throat, fatigue, body aches, and chills. You can decrease your children’s risk of getting very sick from the flu by making sure to get a flu vaccine each year.
When Should Your Baby Begin to See a Doctor?
Making a child their wellness checkup is a great way to recognize health issues early on before uncomfortable symptoms and complications set in. It is also an excellent way to decrease the risk of health issues that develop, through preventive care. Vaccines can protect your child from potentially life-threatening illnesses. Both well-child exams and vaccines will ensure your child lives a long and healthy life. An infant should start seeing a pediatrician within 2-3 days after being discharged from the hospital, or sooner if instructed by the hospital. Early intervention, such as regular well-child checkups and vaccinations, help keep babies healthy and safe from preventable diseases.
General Tips for Preventing Sickness in Kids
You can’t prevent your kid from ever getting sick, but there are ways you can prevent some illnesses and treat others. Here are some tips you and your child can use to stay healthy:
- Keep your hands clean and encourage regular hand washing. This can make a huge difference if your child gets into the habit of washing up before eating meals and after playing outside.
- Get active! Studies show that children who engage in regular exercise can reduce their likelihood of getting sick by 25%.
- Prioritize a good night’s sleep. Being well-rested is extremely important to overall health in both children and adults.
- Don’t touch your face when outside, germs, bacteria, and viruses enter your body through the nose, mouth, and eyes, most commonly through touch.
- Eat a healthy diet. It’s essential to eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals. This will strengthen the immune system, so you can fight illnesses better.
Pediatric Clinics in The Woodlands and Spring, TX
At Northwoods Pediatric Center, P.A., your child’s health and well-being are our top priorities. We pride ourselves in providing personalized and compassionate care, as opposed to corporate-run healthcare systems. We are dedicated to fully educating you about your child’s developmental and healthcare needs and want to be your partner in providing the care they need every step of the way to adulthood.
Our practice specializes in healthcare for newborns to young adults, including well care, vaccinations, and the treatment of childhood illnesses. We hope to develop an alliance with you and a special relationship of trust and confidence. Same-day appointments are available. To schedule an appointment for your child with one of our highly trained pediatricians, call us today at (281) 296-7770. You can also conveniently arrange for an appointment by filling out our online Request an Appointment form.