child illness

It is the time of the year when all of us are in a joyful mood. From inviting friends and family for Christmas and New Year to going for vacations, you’d have surely planned lots of activities for this time of the year. However, the winter months also see an increase in illness among kids. Germs and viruses are prevalent during this time of the year.
Mild Illnesses can be treated with OTC medication, and you may not need to take your child to a pediatrician. However, as a parent, it is important to know the symptoms of common winter illnesses to ensure your child receives appropriate treatment and more importantly to avoid complications. Let us take you through some of the common illnesses that your kids may suffer during the winter.

Flu

Influenza or flu as it is popularly called affects the entire population and more so in these months when temperatures are dropping down. Though flu affects people of all age groups, kids are more vulnerable to the virus and tend to show more symptoms than adults. As a trusted pediatrician in Jacksonville, we see a spike in cases of flu during this time of the year. Flu tends to run it’s a week or 10 days.

Common Symptoms of Flu

• High fever(between 103-104°F)
• Cough and runny nose
• Chills
• Congestion
• Muscle and/or body aches
• Headache
• Loss of appetite
• Vomiting and diarrhea
• Mild conjunctivitis

If your child is experiencing a fever with any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should get in touch with your pediatrician immediately. Along with the medication suggested by your pediatrician, it is important to keep your child rested and hydrated. You must also get your child immunized as advised by your doctor to strengthen their immunity against the newly discovered viruses.

Colds

There isn’t a child who wouldn’t suffer from the common cold. Irrespective of how healthy they are or how well you monitor your kids’ lifestyle and activities they catch colds. Though colds aren’t life-threatening they can make your child’s life miserable for a week or so. They are highly contagious and can spread quickly among kids or from an adult to a kid.

Common Symptoms of Colds
• Runny nose
• Cough
• Sore throat
• Fever
• Congestion

Common cold can be treated at home and it doesn’t warrant a visit to a pediatrician. You should keep your child rested and hydrated during a cold and gently rub VicksVaporRubon the chest and throat to ease nose and sinus congestion. Your child is likely to recover from this in a week or 10 days. However, if you see conditions worsening you must get in touch with your pediatrician immediately.

RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus)

RSVPs are often mistaken for the common cold, but this can lead to severe illness. Like cold, it is a viral infection that can spread quickly when kids are in common proximity. It can be difficult to differentiate between colds and RSV with the latter being more severe and having a higher tendency to turn into a complication. In worst cases, your child might need hospitalization.

Common Symptoms of RSV

• Cough
• Fever
• Runny nose
• Scratchy throat
• Redness in eyes
• Increasing mucus levels
• Congestion in the upper airway
• Wheezing
• Fast breathing

You’d start noticing these symptoms within the first two days and they tend to worsen between the third and the seventh day. In most cases, RSV lasts a course of two weeks but in some cases, it can last up to three weeks. It is important to consult a pediatrician in Jacksonville if you suspect your child to have RSV and follow the medication. Keep your child rested at home to prevent the spread of this in the community.

Strep Throat

Come the fall and the winter and children tend to suffer from this problem. It is predominant in kids aged 5 years and above and can affect them up to their teens. This is an abacterial infection that makes the throat feel sore and scratchy. If left untreated the bacterial overgrowth can lead to severe complications such as rheumatic fever.

Common Symptoms of Strep Throat

• Sore and scratchy throat
• Fever
• Swollen lymph nodes
• Increasing mucus levels
• Congestion in the upper airway
• Wheezing
• Fast breathing

Strep throat requires medical attention and is usually treated with antibiotics. You’d need to consult your pediatrician who would examine your child’s throat to check inflammation and examine the neck to spot swollen lymph nodes. To alleviate the symptoms, you can give warm liquids to your kids such as lemon water and tea. Gargling with warm saline water and sucking on throat lozenges are known to offer relief from the problem.

Ear Infection

Ear infections happen throughout the year, but they are more common as the temperatures drop. These are very painful for the kids and the intensity of the pain increases at night. These are secondary bacterial infections of the middle ear and in most cases follow a cold or flu. Infants and toddlers are more likely to develop ear infections than school-aged kids.

Common Symptoms of Strep Throat

• Pain in ears
• Fluid buildup in ears
• Fever
• Fussiness
• Not responding to sounds
• Loss of balance while walking
Over-the-counter medications including paracetamol and ibuprofen can be administered at home. Most ear infections tend to clear in 2-3 days and hence your child might not need a course of antibiotics in most cases. However, if you don’t spot any signs of relief in the child after administering these OTC medications you shouldn’t waste time and get in touch with your pediatrician.

At Angel Kids Pediatrics, we have a team of child psychologists and pediatricians in Jacksonville. We firmly believe that parents have the most important role to play in helping their kids avoid illnesses and ensure a speedy recovery. As a parent, you must take more care of your child during the winter months to avoid these conditions and let them enjoy the festivities to the fullest.

Summary

In this write-up, we look at some of the common illnesses among kids during winter and the precautionary measures parents must take.

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