This winter season, pay specific attention to your kids as they are bound to catch something. What are the most common childhood viral illnesses anyway? What are they likely to catch this winter season? Is there anyway to prevent these illnesses from happening? Knowing all the symptoms, as well as knowing when your child needs to see a doctor, will help make this season a manageable one.
Usual symptoms of the common cold are low grade fever, nasal congestion, coughing, and sore throat. Treat this by having your child drink lots of fluids and have him or her rest too. If your child is showing signs of discomfort, children’s ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help reduce the fever. Be sure, however, to read the instructions carefully and see a pediatrician if the fever is persistent and becomes high grade. Most kids bounce back from a cold within five to seven days.
Gastroenteritis is one of the most common causes of dehydration in children. This illness is worse than the usual tummy ache and symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Most stomach viruses clear up within a few days to a week and require nothing more than rest and adequate oral fluids. However, re-hydrating your child can become challenging if he or she continues to vomit. So start with small amounts of fluids first, then increase the amount as tolerated.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus
Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV affects the lungs of children 2 years of age and younger. The symptoms are relatively minor and are quite similar to that of a common cold. However, some infants and toddlers with a poor but functioning immune system are more affected. So, do call your pediatrician immediately if your child is showing signs of respiratory distress. These symptoms include wheezing, breathing rapidly, lethargy, or the appearance of a bluish tinge on the lips and mouth.
Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease or HFMD is causes by the Coxsackie virus. HFMD is more common during the summer or fall and is highly contagious. Kids who have contracted the disease usually pass it on to other kids through touching, coughing, and sneezing. The first thing you need to see to confirm HFMD are painful sores on the mouth and throat. Red blisters on the hands and soles of the feet also appear and they last seven to ten days. If your child also feels achy, give him children’s ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Roseola or Sixth Disease is a mild viral illness most commonly involving very young children. It’s also a very benign infection that is surely not to affect kids above 2 years of age. So, chances are, your child’s Roseola symptoms will be so minor that you won’t even realize it. For those who do contact it, symptoms include high fever, congestion, coughing, and rash. Although roseola usually runs its course within a week, contact your pediatrician if your child’s fever spikes or lasts longer than three days. In the meantime, relieve his discomfort with children’s ibuprofen and keep him home until the rash disappears