Diagnosing and Treating Your Child
Children are notorious for being sick often, especially if they are in school or daycare. While it may seem cause for concern, frequent minor illnesses actually build the immune system to these common conditions, and lead to a more healthy adolescent. Vaccines have made some childhood illnesses very rare. However, knowing the signs and symptoms of some of the more common conditions is important for parents to aid in the diagnostic and treatment process.
The common cold has the same symptoms in children as it does in adults: itchy throat, sneezing, runny/stuffy nose, low fever, and muscle aches. Colds usually have a slow onset and are gone within about a week.
Influenza is similar to the common cold, though symptoms are usually more severe, with a sudden onset. Treatment involves plenty of rest and fluids.
This condition is easy to spot, as small, itchy, red bumps appear in small clusters over the entire body. Calamine lotion and acetaminophen can be used to help discomfort, and anti-viral medications may be prescribed in serious cases.
Fluid buildup in the middle ear can cause pain in the ear and while eating, drinking, speaking or sleeping. Most ear infections clear up on their own, but antibiotics may be prescribed by your pediatrician.
This virus is characterized by sore throat or fever, accompanied by a skin rash that covers the hands, feet and mouth. Acetaminophen may be used to help regulate pain and fever, and the child should stay away from other children, as not to spread the virus.
If your child has redness in/around the eye, green or white discharge or itchy or burning eyes, pinkeye is usually the culprit. Pinkeye is normally treated with antibiotics.
Sometimes called “hay fever”, seasonal allergies produce symptoms such as sneezing, itchy nose/eyes, congestion, runny nose and coughing. Symptoms can be relieved with lessening your child’s exposure to allergens, regular hand washing and frequent outfit changes when moving from outdoors to indoors. Some cases may be treated with antihistamines or nasal spray. Allergy shots are also available.