Common Childhood Illnesses… What To Look For
by: Adwina Jackson
Children are very susceptible to illnesses, in part because
their immune systems are not fully mature.
Breastfeeding of course provides some immunity to common
illnesses, but nowadays most children are weaned by the time they are 1
Children also have a habit of exploring the world around
them with their mouths and their hands. Anything that comes into contact
with their mouth and hands can potentially cause an illness.
The good news is that the more your child is exposed the
stronger their immune systems will become, and their ability to fight off
infection in the future.
Some of the most common childhood illnesses and symptoms
to be on the look out are listed below:
Colds/Cough – Cold and coughs are usually caused by viral
infections, thus must be spread by person to person contact, not through
the weather alone. Common symptoms of a cold include a stuffy nose, cough,
possible sore throat and occasionally a temperature. Colds can become more
severe and result in bronchitis, pneumonia and ear infections. Signs that
a cold is becoming worse and may need medical treatment include green or
yellow nasal discharge, fever lasting more than one day or a persistent
and wheezy cough.
Flu – The flu is characterized by headaches, chills, muscle
aches and a high fever. Respiratory symptoms may also develop, and a feeling
of fatigue which may last for several weeks after initial symptoms. The
flu is also spread from person to person contact usually with respiratory
secretions of someone who is sick. Antibiotics can’t treat the flu. Treatment
often consists of rest, fluids and Tylenol.
Ear Infections – This is perhaps the most common infection
affecting children. Ear infections happen when bacteria enter the ear from
the nose or throat. Usually an ear infection is accompanied by a fever
and possibly pus draining from the ear. Symptoms may include pain, fever,
dizziness and irritability. Usually Tylenol will provide some relieve.
Though ear infections aren’t contagious, the viral infections that cause
them are. Some children will develop repetitious ear infections, usually
associated with a problem with the tube that passes between the throat
and the middle ear.
Chicken Pox – Chicken pox is probably the most common
infectious disease that affects preschool and school age children. Symptoms
usually include an itchy rash and blisters, sometimes coupled with a fever.
Chicken pox can also be transmitted to adults, and is usually a much more
serious illness. The good news is a chicken pox vaccine is available for
babies 1 year of age or older.
One of the best things you can do to help your child is
try to minimize their exposure to illness by encouraging frequent hand
Most illnesses are spread when a child touches something
the virus has settled on and then touches their face.
Practicing good habits at home will help encourage your
child to limit their exposure and the spread of illness to other family
About The Author
Adwina Jackson is a wife and mother of a young boy. She's
also the editor of Inspiring Parenting, an online source of valuable parenting
information. Please visit http://www.InspiringParenting.com
for helpful and free parenting info. Observe your children's health, growth
and development by clicking the website.