Common Childhood Illnesses
What are the common childhood illnesses to watch out for and how parents can help their children.
Children fall sick often because they have immature immune systems. They need to grow and be exposed to bacteria and viruses to build up their immunity. They get common illnesses due to close proximity to other children in playgroups, day-cares, sharing toys and playing together.
Some common illnesses in kids are coughs, colds, ear infections, respiratory tract infections, food allergies, food intolerance, mumps, rubella and measles. Coughs, colds and flu are often caused by a virus. Antibiotics can't fight viruses. Supportive treatment is prescribed to ease the symptoms instead. Pain relief and extra fluids help to relieve virus infections. Only in the very young or very old do doctors prescribe antibiotics. This is to avoid the bacteria developing antibiotic resistant strains.
Infants and young children get as the middle ear is still developing. The ear is sensitive to dampness, injury or germs. As children grow, ear infections are reduced.
Persistent coughs or wheezing may be indications of asthma.This needs immediate medical consultation. Nasal sprays and other aids can help relieve asthma.
Common respiratory tract infections are tonsillitis, sinusitis and ear infections.The ear, nose and throat are connected through the same tract.So germs may travel form one region to another.The child's doctor can advise if surgery is necessary to eliminate infections of tonsils and adenoids.
Parents can help combat these common illnesses in kids. Ensure the kid eats a balanced diet. Supplement with children's vitamin and mineral pills. Babies from the age of 6 months up need iron fortified vitamin drops.
Put the child onto an immunization program. Vaccinations are regularly scheduled to help the child's developing immune system. Monitor the child immediately after the jab for any adverse reactions.Sometimes, there may be fever which can be brought down by children's panadol. the doctor/nurse administering the jab will advise further.
Consult your doctor for serious signs and symptoms like:
-high fever of 38 degrees Centigrade onwards
-head or stomach pains
-vomiting or diarrhea for more than a day
-a fit occurs
-fainting or extreme drowsiness
-lips become blue
-a limb is immobile
Always visit the same doctor to monitor patterns of illnesses for better treatment. Discuss with the doctor for the best method of treatment for your child.