Common Childhood Illnesses: What They Are and How To Prevent Them
As a parent, ensuring that your child is happy and healthy is your number one priority. Despite all best efforts, however, eventually all children will come down with some sort of illness. Children usually start getting sick after they’ve reached six months of age, and the immunity they’ve received from their mother begins to fade. At this point, the child must start building up their own immune system.
The average toddler/preschooler will have about seven or eight colds per year. Luckily, this number starts to go down as your child gets older, with school-age children averaging around five to six colds per year. By the time your child is a teenager, they should be at the average adult level of about four colds a year.
Pediatricians in The Woodlands & Spring, TX
When you add in the additional average two to three stomach illnesses that children get a year, however, it can sometimes feel like your child is always sick. Don’t worry! Although each fever or cough might seem like the end of the world, it’s all par for the course in the process of growing up. Keep reading to learn about some of the most common childhood illnesses, as well as tips for reducing your child’s chance of falling under the weather.
General Tips for Preventing Sickness in Kids (and Adults)
While ensuring your child never gets sick is impossible, there are many things you can do to reduce the risk. Here are some tips you and your child can incorporate to keep both of you healthy:
- Keep your hands clean, and encourage regular hand washing. This seems like an obvious tip, but it can actually make a huge difference if your child gets into the habit of washing up before eating meals and after playing outside, using the restroom, sharing toys with peers, and coming home from school or day care.
- Get active! Studies show that children who engage in regular exercise can reduce their likelihood of getting sick by 20-25%.
- Prioritize a good night’s sleep. Being well rested is extremely important to overall health in both children and adults. Remember that your child needs significantly more sleep than you do. Plan their bedtime accordingly.
- Don’t touch your face! Viruses enter your body through the nose, mouth, and eyes. It can be incredibly difficult to try to get your child to keep their hands off their face, but setting up good habits early on will definitely pay off in the long run.
- Eat a healthy diet. This is another seemingly obvious tip, but it’s important for children to eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals. This will help boost their immune system, so they can fight off illnesses. You may also want to consider introducing foods with probiotics, like yogurt, to encourage good digestive health.
If you have any questions about symptoms that your child is experiencing, call our office at (281) 296-7770. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to even the most minor symptoms. We will let you know what you should do and if a doctor’s appointment is necessary. We’re here to work with you to keep your child as healthy as they can be!