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5 Common Infections In Children And What Parents Can Do About It

It is inevitable that every child will get sick at some point in their lives. As a parent, you will want to know how to recognise the symptoms, how to assist your child, and when to seek medical attention.

A list of some of the most common childhood infections and their approved treatments is provided in this article. These treatments are based on scientific evidence and are considered best practices.

Common Infections In Children

Note: For severe cases of illness, you should consult your paediatrician.

1. Common cold

Some of the symptoms include a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing, a mild sore throat, decreased appetite, headaches, and exhaustion in some children [1].

What parents can do: It is important to offer your child additional fluids (especially water or milk), to encourage plenty of rest, to give acetaminophen for fever, if the fever is uncomfortable, to use a rubber suction bulb to gently clear nasal congestion, to use saline nose drops, and to obtain medical advice in the event that your child is not drinking well, has a fever, has trouble breathing, or if symptoms persist.

2. Bronchiolitis

It is a common lung infection in young children and infants. Symptoms include coughing and difficulty breathing, wheezing, and fever, and it is usually seen in babies under one year of age [2].

What parents can do: The best way to treat bronchiolitis is to provide extra fluids and encourage plenty of rest. If your child is willing to eat solids, you may want to give them acetaminophen or ibuprofen to ease the discomfort caused by the fever. Make sure your child drinks a lot of fluids when using ibuprofen. Avoid giving ibuprofen to babies under 6 months without first consulting a physician. Avoid giving ibuprofen if you are concerned about dehydration.

3. Influenza

Fever, chills, cough, headache, muscle aches, extreme tiredness, sore throat, and loss of appetite are typical symptoms [3].

What parents can do: An antiviral medication may be prescribed for healthy individuals with severe influenza or very young children. These medications should be taken within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms in order to be effective.

4. Ear infection

There are typically several symptoms associated with an ear infection, including earache, crankiness or fussiness, tugging at the ears, fluid draining from the ear, fever and cold symptoms. This infection almost always begins as a cold, but the infection itself is not contagious [4].

What parents can do: Consult your child's physician, and an antibiotic may be prescribed.

5. Croup

Croup is an infection of the upper airway, which causes breathing difficulties and a characteristic barking cough. Symptoms include cold symptoms and fever, hoarse voice, barking cough, rapid noisy breathing, and difficulty breathing [5].

What parents can do: When a child is suffering from croup, it is best to take the child outside in cool night air for ten minutes. If your child's symptoms do not improve after 30 minutes, contact your physician. You may be required to attend the emergency department because attacks often occur in the middle of the night.

On A Final Note...

Because young children are exposed to many new germs (viruses or bacteria), they tend to fall ill frequently. The good news is that most young children will have 8 to 10 colds each year. Most of these infections are mild and will not last very long. Children get sick less often as they grow older.

Story first published: Tuesday, November 29, 2022, 13:09 [IST]
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