It seems like sickness runs rampant in the homes of families with children. Children are still building immunity and are usually weaker than the typical adult, so they often fall victim of some common illnesses that adults fight off. If you send your child to school, day care, church, or play group, you’ve likely come across at least one of these four common medical conditions that most children will face at one point or another.
The Common Cold
The common cold is referring to your typical mild fever, congestion, coughing and sore throat that you see crop up far too often in your kids. Is it serious? Not so much. Frustrating? Absolutely. Though there’s no great concern with the common cold, if your child isn’t nursed back to health, their health just might decline. See, their bodies are already fighting, so their immunity is compromised. So, though you may think they’re well enough to head to school, they probably shouldn’t. Children’s ibuprofen, Tylenol, saline drops and a humidifier will work wonders until this illness passes.
Unfortunately, gastroenteritis is one of the most grueling illnesses a child (or an adult) will experience, and it happens all the time. You might know it as the stomach bug – an excessively miserably bout of vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort usually caused by a bacterial virus. Typically these “bugs” are extremely contagious and end up sweeping through classrooms rapidly, one child at a time. The best thing to do when your child comes down with this is to allow her to rest, make sure she stays hydrated, and offer her foods based on the BRAT diet – bananas, rice, apple sauce and toast.
School age children often fall victim to the dreaded streptococcus bacteria – strep throat. It’s relatively contagious, and can be spread through direct contact, or even contact with an infected object. Throat pain is the classic symptom, and that can be so severe that talking and swallowing become impossible. Fever, swollen glands and stomach pain frequently accompany. If your child is diagnosed with strep throat, keep him home for a couple days after his first round of antibiotics, as he’ll remain contagious even after the medication starts.
Influenza, more commonly known as flu, is simply the worst. Kids get it and it knocks them down hard, catching fevers of up to 103 degrees, with aches, chills, sore throat, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. It’s almost every sickness symptom exhibited in one illness, and usually lasts more than a week. The flu, if not kept in check, can get out of control and lead to pneumonia. Flu shots are given every year to help prevent infection, though it’s not always successful. That being said, vaccinations can help infected folks by lessening the symptoms significantly compared to those who’ve never had the vaccine.
If you’re a parent of a young child, prepare yourself for several years of commonly experienced sicknesses that include the flu, strep throat, gastroenteritis, and the common cold.